In March, U.K. lawmakers announced a Spring Budget – notably absent from which was government-backed insurance for event organizers. Boomtown Fair has been forced to forced to call off for the second time due to COVID-19 uncertainty resulting from the decision.
The festival, one of the largest in the U.K., was set to run from August 11th-15th, 2021 outside of Winchester. Citing the lack of a safety net that would have been provided by a coronavirus-specific insurance scheme, organizers have postponed to August 10th-14th, 2022.
“…With less than four months to go and after almost half a year of collective campaigning to the government, COVID-19-specific cancellation insurance for events simply does not exist at this point in time and therefore there’s no safety net to support us through the next stages,” reads part of Boomtown Fair’s statement. “This means we would be gambling up to an 8-figure loss should the event not be able to go ahead due to COVID-19 restrictions, which would put the future of the festival at serious risk.”
Resident Advisor reports that Boomtown Fair’s production costs would have totaled roughly £17 million, meaning that taking a loss on the 2021 edition would have threatened the future if the gathering. Organizers had received a £990,000 grant from Arts Council England – the largest of any festival – to remain afloat amid the coronavirus crisis.
All tickets to Boomtown Fair 2021 will roll over into the 2022 event, and refunds will be available to those who request them.