WOMAD festival cancelled with 'no option' due to lockdown uncertainty

Credit: WOMAD Festival

This year’s WOMAD festival has been cancelled with organisers saying they had "no option" due to Covid uncertainty and "the government's unwillingness to provide insurance support for festivals".

As a major event close to the easing of Covid restrictions in England on July 19, organisers of the music festival confirmed the announcement on Monday.

The financial risks are high, especially without government backing to insure the event.

They argue that government assurances are simply not enough to press go and begin building this year’s festival site along with the added infrastructure required to host a major event.

They have delayed a decision for as long as possible but ticket holders may well be left disappointed as organisers face a difficult choice.

A statement from the Department for Culture said: "We are continuing to work towards live events being  able to reopen fully from July 19 as well as providing unprecedented support for the culture sector.

"WOMAD has benefited from almost £250,000 of taxpayer help through our Culture Recovery Fund, alongside a range of other music festivals.

"We understand the challenges live events have in securing indemnity cover and are exploring what further support may be required from step 4 once the sector is able to reopen.

"Our ongoing, science-led Events Research Programme is also testing how Covid certification and other measures can help ensure events can take place safely."

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