THE organiser of the upcoming Live at Lydiard festival welcomed the government’s £750m live event insurance announcement – but says it's too little, too late. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced his scheme to help live event organisers plan with confidence through to next year by insuring them against potential cancellations caused by Covid-19. 

Jack Summers from The Culture Collective – the team behind the event taking place in Lydiard Park on August 21 – said: “Since the pandemic, organisers have been unable to insure events against Covid-19 which means that the last 18 months have been a complete gamble

“The Association for Independent Festivals and others have been pushing for cancellation insurance related to Covid but instead, hundreds of festivals and events have been unable to go ahead because this protection was missing.”

Mr Summers added the announcement does very little now as the lifting of Covid restrictions has led to growing confidence and another lockdown seems unlikely.

Live at Lydiard will be headlined by Anne Marie, Dizzee Rascal and Clean Bandit. 

“People have been reluctant to buy tickets," he said, "We’ve seen a massive uplift in sales in the last two weeks following ‘Freedom Day’ but we’d be lying if we said it’s been an easy ride.

“There’s been a lot of concern from potential ticket buyers but luckily the local community have got behind it, the great line-up has struck a chord, and we’re going to sell out. Three or four months ago it was a different picture.

“We’re in the position now, where they’ve made this new insurance for live events, which is very much appreciated but far too late

“It definitely gives us a lot of confidence for next year, but what about in the meantime? We were pushing ahead anyway, and it doesn’t come into effect in time to help us.

“Soon restrictions lift so everyone involved won’t have to self-isolate. We’re very confident we won’t have any issues with our suppliers, like the bars and toilets, or staff.

“It’s unlikely that there’ll be another lockdown which means there’s no reason to suggest the event won’t go ahead, so ultimately I’m not really sure how much this announcement helps.”

The team has given 1,000 festival tickets to NHS workers to thank them for their efforts during the pandemic.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland has welcomed the new support for live events.

He said: “I am pleased that the government have partnered with Lloyds to protect and boost the events industry with the £750m plus Live Event Reinsurance Scheme

“This will help to give organisers the confidence not to cancel gigs, festivals and events both large and small

“This scheme will support live event taking place here in Swindon that are open to the general public, including concerts, local fairs, music festivals. pantos and business events

“It will cover costs incurred in the event of cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Covid restrictions

“It will also help to protect the jobs of those working in the Events Sector here in the town

“This is one of the only insurance schemes in the world to cover such a wide array of live events and not put a cap on costs claimed per event.”