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Music Festival Event Insurance Update 2023

Andy Robertson

Insurance premiums for music festival organising entities still make up a significant cost of putting on an event. Whilst the threat of disruption due the coronavirus pandemic has dissipated there are other factors that are coming into focus particularly with the increase in extreme weather conditions that can cause festivals to be cancelled.

The insurance industry employs underwriting experts who constantly assess risk, and this can mean a constant evolution in the cost of premiums and what is and is not covered by any insurance policy. Any limited company that comes into contact with customers, clients, and members of the public will usually be required by law to have public liability insurance. In addition festival organisers will usually purchase extra insurance that relates to specific attributes of their event.

Adverse Weather.
The increasing incidence of extreme weather conditions globally is a key concern for organisers and can include high winds, thunderstroms, heavy rain, heatwaves and wildfires for example. All of these can have a severe impact on an outdoor music festival with implications for safety and in extreme case can lead to an event cancellation either voluntarily or on the insistence of local emergency services. Festival organisers should ensure that any event specific Insurance policy provides sufficient financial coverage for such eventualities, however, with such occurrences increasing expect premiums for this coverage to start getting expensive.

Artists and Line-up No Shows.
Although this can often be covered in legal contracts between organisers and performance artists (or their management companies) it may be possible to get coverage for this eventuality from an event insurance policy. It would be unusual for it to be included but is often available as an option for an additional fee. This may be ideal for music festivals with hundreds of smaller acts where no contracts are used.

Online Risk and Cybersecurity.
Festival organising entities and ticketing platforms are increasingly at risk from unwanted hacking and cybercrime in an era where data theft is prevalent. It may be possible to obtain insurance against any online attack, but this will probably require the organisation to have in place robust cybersecurity protocols. The fines given by the authorities for data breaches under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) can be severe.

Event Cancellation and Postponement.
Insurance companies will generally cover financial loss incurred as a result of the cancellation or postponement of an event, however, since the coronavirus pandemic the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage can be quite demanding. Music festival organisers should check the policy wording carefully so that they fully understand what is and is not covered particularly in relation to the impact of adverse weather.

Contractors, Vendors and Suppliers.
Although festival organisers will obtain their own event and public liability insurance it should be a condition of working with the organising entity that any contractors, vendors and suppliers show evidence of their own insurance coverage. This may depend on the nature of the work being carried out, stage rigging can be dangerous and risky requiring specialist insurance cover for example.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like
Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Kindel Media via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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