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Rowan Cannon director of Wild Rumpus, a social enterprise that produces outdoor festivals, called on the DCMS and Government to recognise the diversity in the festivals sector and that a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting the industry is inappropriate.

Speaking at the DCMS Select Committee inquiry into the future of UK music festivals meeting today, 2 February, Cannon (pictured) said her company’s two 5,000-capacity festivals – Just So Festival and Timber – could be staged even if social distancing measures had to be implemeted.

“I am confident our festivals could be safer than Sainsbury’s,” she said. “The idea that festivals can’t go ahead and be socially distanced is inaccurate. It depends on the size of your festival.

“We have two weekend campaign festivals, Just So in August and Timber in July, both with capacities of around 5,000. They both have vast sites of around 100 acres, and we can absolutely adapt our programming and put infrastructure in place, and change the way that we do things, to enable something to happen with social distancing in place.”

She called on the Government to recognise that the festival sector consists of around 980 events ranging from tiny to enormous, and that different decision making should be in place for different scales of festivals.

It was the second Committee meeting, chaired by Conservative MP for Solihull Julian Knight. It also saw Notting Hill Carnival director Matthew Phillip state that if social distancing measures were to still be in place in August the impact on his event would be devastating.

However, Phillip said the intention would be to continue to stage Carnival in some form: “It wouldn’t take place in a traditional format but we would always hope to do something celebrating Carnival. It means too much to too many people, so we would always try and find a way of celebrating Carnival for its artistry and what it means to the community.”

Today’s session can be watched in full here.

The first Committee meeting on 5 January led to more than a dozen MPs and over 100 event industry executives signing a letter to the chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak calling for him to implement a Government-backed insurance scheme for festivals. No measures have yet been taken.