Too little, too late – or a lifeline for live events organisers?

Do you organise live events? Then, you might be interested in the new measures introduced by the government this month.

The disruption and uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and the associated restrictions have had a significant and damaging effect on thousands of “in person” events, from festivals to charity fundraising events to AGMs and conferences.

But now there is a new scheme will provide support to live events organisers where events are at a risk due to an inability to obtain Covid-19 cancellation insurance. The aim of the scheme is to provide live events organisers with the protection and confidence to plan ahead. The scheme will be reviewed during spring 2022 and will run until 30 September 2022.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) recently published the headline scheme rules. The key features include the following:

  • The scheme protects against costs incurred due to the event being legally unable to happen due to new government COVID restrictions, including “lockdown”.
  • It does not provide cover for losses arising from self-isolation by staff, volunteers or performers.
  • The scheme will cover live events in the UK that are open to the general public. This includes live music events, festivals, sports events, trade shows and business events.
  • Private events such as weddings and parties will not be covered.
  • Organisers will be able to purchase the cancellation insurance as an additional premium on standard commercial events insurance. It will not be available on a stand-alone basis.

While many think this is a step in the right direction it remains to be seen whether this scheme is too little, too late or a lifeline for live events organisers.

We discuss how coronavirus could affect your live events, and how the law might help you navigate your contractual obligations, in more detail in our article. For further information please contact Mindy Jhittay or Rob Oakley.


This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of September 22, 2021.