UK festivals have been included in the government VAT cutting scheme, while Wolfsburg unveils a “risk-free” season ticket and Disney parks in Florida look to reopen despite COVID-19 spikes…
UK festivals VAT
The UK government has today (Friday) confirmed that concerts and festivals will be included in its recent announcement to cut VAT from 20 per cent to five per cent.
Tickets purchased between July 15 to January 12, 2021 will be covered, meaning that it will include advance ticket sales for events beyond that time.
Tom Kiehl, director of government relations at UK Music, said: “Great to see concerts and shows are included in this announcement.”
The announcement comes after complaints from the music and festival industry that the Government is letting those sectors “slip through the cracks.” Following the announcement, Kiehl said the VAT exemptions would be a “lifeline” for the thousands of people who work in the music industry.
The VAT news follows the announcement of the £1.57bn arts support package, which would allow thousands of organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema to access emergency grants and loans.
In addition, outdoor concerts and performances will be allowed in England from tomorrow (Saturday) with social distancing measures in place.
German Bundesliga football club VfL Wolfsburg has announced a “risk-free” season ticket solution for fans.
The club said that the cost of a ticket will only be debited once it has been determined that it will be possible to play in full in front of the spectators and the seats of the season ticket holders can be used without restriction.
The club will only deduct the pro rata value from the deposited account and the final season ticket value will be activated and debited once the number of games to be played with fans has been determined in accordance with the payment request (one-off payment / instalment payment).
If the Bundesliga implements certain restrictions, season ticket holders will be offered five reimbursement options, including pro rata reimbursement, settlement, voucher, waiver of good cause, waiver VfL, at the end of the season. Fans with single match tickets will be refunded their money.
The 2020-21 Bundesliga season is scheduled to kick off on September 18, though it remains unclear whether supporters will be allowed into stadiums due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Disney World in Florida is set to welcome visitors with pre-booked tickets this weekend, despite the US state experiencing a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
Orlando theme parks, the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, which have been shuttered since mid-March, will reopen on Saturday, while Epcot and Hollywood Studios are scheduled to open on July 15.
The Orlando theme parks’ reopening plans include measures such as reduced capacity, strict social distancing measures and a cleaning regime.
Matt Hollis, head of the Service Trades Council Union (STCU) coalition, which represents 43,000 Disney World employees, told the Guardian: “There’s absolutely people that are nervous, when you hear the reports of the virus, the statistics, but what they see every day is Disney taking the steps necessary to keep them and the guests safe.
“There’s certainly going to be a learning curve as we learn the new normal, but the cast members will do everything they can to adapt with the new measures designed to keep everyone safe.
“They’re Disney workers. They love what they do, they certainly want to be able to do it in a safe environment.”
On Wednesday, Florida reported 120 coronavirus deaths, which marks a record high for the state. More than 4,000 people have died of Covid-19 in Florida, according to the state’s health department, although its deaths per capita rate of 19 per 100,000 is dwarfed by New Jersey’s 174 and New York’s 166.