Glastonbury Festival (cap. 147,000) operator Emily Eavis has joined the throng of major outdoor event organisers calling for a Government-backed insurance scheme to enable them to begin planning next year’s shows.

In an interview in the Sunday Times, Eavis emphasised the urgent need for festival organisers to have access to an insurance scheme that would fill the void left by commercial underwriters who refuse to offer contingency cover for events that might be cancelled because of the virus.

The issue was raised in the House of Commons last week by All Party Parliamentary Group for Events (APPG) chair Theresa Villiers MP, who asked Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, whether serious consideration was being given to the event industry’s need for a Government-backed insurance scheme.

Eavis said the situation was already getting tight: “In a usual planning cycle we would already be well into organising the next festival.”

She also pointed out that the event, which she runs alongside her 85-year-old father Michael, had lost a “substantial” amount of money this year.

She said, “If the government can share the risk by offering direct financial support, then it gives everyone the opportunity to move forward with the planning in the hope that things will be safe to run in the summer, and in the knowledge that backing is available if we’re simply not in a position to go ahead.”