The Hampshire hosted festival Boomtown, self-coined a ‘living theatre’, has been cancelled for the second year in a row. Initially scheduled for 11th-15th August 2021 the festival announced on Monday 19th April that Boomtown 2021 will no longer go ahead.
In a statement released on the official website and social media platforms, titled “We Will Dance Together Again”, the festival team explain that without the confirmation of a COVID specific insurance for events such as theirs, the organisers could not risk going further with the 2021 Boomtown planning. Stating that the lack of insurance “means a huge gamble into an 8-figure sum to lose if we were to venture much further forward”. Unfortunately, “time has simply run out” to arrange with the government such insurance for Boomtown.
New dates for the festival in 2022 are between the 10th-14th August.
In late March, Winchester MP, Steve Brine raised the issue of music festivals restarting this summer without a government backed insurance scheme.
In asking for confirmation of an insurance scheme, Brine recognised it as a “leap of faith”. However, he continued to explain that it is key for organisers to continue with their planning of festivals and live music this summer, following the government’s road map out of social distancing measures on June 21st.
Brine: “without insurance they [music organisers] feel, and we agree, that the benefits to the sector are restricted.”
Brine went on further to describe how “70% of musicians have seen their work fall by at least 75%” during the pandemic, which is why it is vital for a government insurance scheme
as organisers cannot risk continuing to lose out on profit: “quickly clearing this insurance barrier is key to guaranteeing the recovery” of the music industry.
After this announcement, Boomtown now joins those of Download and Glastonbury who also cancelled their summer festivals earlier this year.
Without insurance in place, other festivals have opted to change their traditional peak summer dates, such as the Isle of Wight Festival. The famous rock-pop festival took place in 2019 on 13th-16th June however have shifted to the later dates of 16th-19th September this 2021 festival season.
Much like last year, tickets for 2021 Boomtown can be rolled over to the 2022 dates.
Image Credit: Sam Warrenger