BLOG: Will UK festivals flourish once again?

Two years of disruption – is event insurance scheme too little too late?

Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a £750m government-backed insurance scheme for live events will be welcome news for many organisers today. But why have they taken so long to put this much needed measure in place? We are most of the way through 2021 festival season already and more than half of all music festivals have been cancelled this summer.

Despite the fact that the easing of Covid restrictions means that from a legal point of view live events can take place, many organisers have still taken the difficult decision to cancel events owing to concerns about economic viability.

The government insurance scheme covers cancelled events when a lockdown is the cause but what about events that aren’t viable when social distancing measures are in place? Or where a Covid outbreak requires an entire staff team to self-isolate?

We’d love to know your thoughts on this development. @ us on social media or come join The Possibility Club.

Throughout the pandemic we’ve been asking leaders, thinkers and practitioners from a range of sectors about their experience of lockdown, the impact it’s had on their work and what they envisage the future to be for their sector after corona.


After Corona? Festivals

In an episode dedicated to festivals we consider the impact, the response and visions for the future of festivals.

Our special guests recorded their contributions at different points over the past year – and we wanted to get a sense of mood and response to the changing landscape.

 

Our guests:


Different industry perspectives

// Norman Cook on music

Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) needs little introduction. A festival titan. We spoke to Norman last September about the impact of the pandemic on festivals, clubs and the music industry as a whole.

 (30 minute listen)

// Fiona Bevan on the music industry

As well as writing and performing her own music, Fiona Bevan is one of the UK’s most prolific pop and rock songwriters for global acts as diverse as Kylie Minogue, Steps, Nick Mulvey, Lewis Capaldi, Aurora, Ed Harcourt and The Backstreet Boys to name just a handful.

 (40 minute watch)

// Mark Davyd on grassroots music venues

Mark, and the Music Venues Trust, have been hailed as heroes by many in the UK for running some very hard-hitting campaigns that put small and medium pubs and gig venues at the forefront of cultural recovery funding.

 (40 minute listen)

// Amy Lamé on the night time economy

London’s first ever Night Czar, Amy’s responsibility is to promote London’s varied nightlife both in the UK and internationally, including safeguarding venues across the city.

 (35 minute listen)


Events and festivals in the spotlight

always possible works with organisations on ambitious projects and supports creative businesses to plan and cut through the noise.

Essex 2020

When the first national lockdown was announced in March 2020 the always possible team was 13 months deep into the planning and curation of a year long programme to celebrate science + creativity in Essex. This ambitious project, conceived by Essex Partners, centred around the British Science Festival and key anniversaries of Essex’ heritage in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM). It was to include a calendar of 360+ live events across the county; connecting grassroots organisations, big businesses, education, arts and culture.

It could have all ended when the world came to a halt – but contributors wanted Essex 2020 to adapt and thrive. We set about supporting organisers to take events online and adapted the website to become a library of multimedia content – reaching tens of thousands of people. The resilience and flexibility of the hundreds of organisations involved was inspiring, as demonstrated in the finale showcase.

> click to read more

 

Festival Problem-Solving

Festivals are complex, fraught and financially risky – but get the ingredients right, and they are transformational cultural moments that foster collaboration and accelerate ideas. And they are really, really good fun.

The always possible team have been working with festival organisers over the past six years, on design, evaluation, fundraising and communications – challenging stale thinking and assumptions.

Clients and collaborators include Wilderness Festival, Glyndebourne, Brighton Digital Festival, #TOMTech, Oops Festival, Starboard Festival, Essex Book Festival, Sick! Festival, Photoworks Festival, The Brighton Summit, Essex 2020, SPARK Education Festival + MORE

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