The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has issued updated FAQs for its Live Events Reinsurance Scheme, clarifying that the scheme is not limited to event organisers.

In the final question of the FAQs (see below) it states that venues and suppliers can take out cover under the £800m scheme:

  1. Is the scheme limited to event organisers, or is any organisation or individual linked to an eligible event (e.g. exhibitor, stallholder, artist, venue, caterer) able to purchase cover under the scheme?
  1. The scheme is not limited to event organisers. If a proposer is able to purchase cover directly linked to an event (or a series of “linked” events) from an insurer participating in the scheme, then it would be able to fall under the ambit of the scheme.

Access has been told that while two exhibition companies and an amateur theatre group, with a budget of £3,000, have purchased policies, no festival operators have applied despite the sector having lobbied hard for Government-backed insurance.

Kilimanjaro Live CEO and Concert Promoters Association vice chairman Stuart Galbraith said the Government had “wholeheartedly and comprehensively” failed to understand the needs of the sector.

Galbraith, whose company is owned by Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG), promotes tours by numerous major acts including Ed Sheeran and festivals such as Scotland’s 16,500-capacity Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.

Said Galbraith, “No promoter, no producer, and no venue has taken cover under the Government scheme for the pure and simple reason that it is not fit for purpose and it was really only put out to be a publicity tick-box exercise. The reason it doesn’t work and it’s not fit for purpose is it actually doesn’t provide cover for the two key areas that are most likely to cause us to have to cancel –  if a key person gets Covid such as an artist, or if we have to run shows with social distancing that are not financially viable.

“It’s amazing that even though we had been pushing for it for over a year the scheme was bought out just before party political conferences took place, and I assume they were all insured under that scheme. It works for [exhibitions and conferences] because you don’t have any key man cover requirement and they obviously are not so impacted by social distancing. While it may work for the exhibition market or the conference market, it just is completely and utterly unusable for both theatre and music.”

The full Live Events Reinsurance Scheme FAQ is available here.

Separately, Hiscox said it has become the sixth insurer to participate in the scheme.