Music festivals to be supported in government coronavirus funding package

“Festivals across the UK are undoubtedly ‘crown jewels’, both culturally and economically, in the local areas they serve and the nation as a whole"

30.07.20

Words by: Billy Ward

Independent festivals in the UK are set to receive a cut of the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, designed to help the creative sector cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, the government announced a £1.57bn support package for the arts, culture and heritage industries, however, the Association of Independent Festivals claimed they were unable to gain reassurance that festivals were included in the package and were worried that they would be left behind.

Arts Council England has published its guidelines for the Cultural Recovery Fund which is set to give out up to £500 million of the £1.57bn provided by the government to help cultural and heritage businesses. Music festivals are now explicitly listed as a type of arts organisation that can apply for the package.

CEO of the Association Of Independent Festivals, Paul Reed, stated: “While the effectiveness of this emergency fund in helping our sector through the pandemic will be determined by exactly how it is allocated, we are cautiously optimistic about this update, which makes the eligibility of festivals explicit”.

“We understand that, thanks to contributions from our members illustrating their current predicament, officials were able to make significant representations for festival inclusion and we’re very thankful for that support”.

He added: “Festivals across the UK are undoubtedly ‘crown jewels’, both culturally and economically, in the local areas they serve and the nation as a whole. Supporting the sector until next year will also kickstart other parts of the supply chain. Survival, and a healthy festival market in 2021, will result in artists being booked, sites and stages being built, and money being spent by the public”.

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