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Climate change leading to insurance hikes, says festivals group chief

UK festivals are increasingly setting aside ticketing revenue to subsidise soaring insurance premiums caused by climate change, according to Association of Independent Festivals chief Paul Reed.

According to the Sunday Times newspaper, Reed said that climate change is “undeniably a factor” in the rise of festival cancellations in Britain, and that cancellations will become more common due to more extreme weather.

He said organisers have begun setting aside about 1.25 per cent of ticketing revenue for insurance to protect them in the event of a cancellation.

He said: “We’ve seen insurance premiums double and triple in the last two or three years. We’re aware of more unpredictable weather… due to the climate crisis.”

In addition, festival-goers are left out of pocket when an event is cancelled due to hidden ticket fees.

Boardmasters, the five-day surfing and music festival in Cornwall, scheduled for August 7 to 11, was cancelled a day before it was due to start due to a weather warning.

The promoter said it would reimburse the face value of tickets, which ranged from £59 ($71/€65) for a day-ticket to £1,388. Though it would not refund the typical £17 charged in fees per ticket, including two booking fees of £8 and £1.50, an optional £6.30 refund protection charge and a £1.50 transaction fee.

Houghton electronic music festival was also cancelled in August and has promised to refund people the face value of their ticket, plus half the cost of their booking fees.

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