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Danish festivals given boost with €67m insurance scheme

Denmark has become the latest European country to provide a financial safety net for the organisers of major events, including music festivals.

The Danish government is providing a DKK500m (€67.2m) cancellation compensation fund to encourage events to move forward with plans for their 2021 summer events.

The scheme will compensate for all fixed costs and salaries incurred by organisers of festivals staged up to the end September, with capacities of more than 350, if it proves necessary to cancel, postpone or significantly change the events.

Denmark hosts several festivals, such as Northside Festival Denmark, Copenhell, Tinderbox, Roskilde Festival and Smukfest.

Joy Mogensen, Denmark’s Culture Minister, said: “We all hope for a summer where the infection situation allows us to gather for festivals again. Until then, the festival organisers can continue to plan soundly with peace of mind. With the agreement, we ensure that festivals will be compensated if they have to cancel due to restrictions.”

The full agreement, which still needs to be approved by the European Commission, includes the safety net, an emergency pool for large solidarity events facing the risk of bankruptcy, and a compensation ladder to provide organisers with estimates of what they can expect to receive.

Esben Marcher, head of Dansk Live, Denmark’s live music association, said: “It is positive that there is now a financial safety net for the festivals, so that the organisers can complete the preparation of this summer’s festivals.

“We will, of course, follow the implementation of the agreement closely. However, we still need clarification on whether there will be restrictions this summer, and which scenarios we must plan based on.”

The move follows similar insurance schemes set up by Germany, with a €2.5bn (£2.14bn) fund, and schemes by Norway (€34m/£28.12), The Netherlands (€300m/£257m), Austria (€300m/£257m) and in Belgium (€60m/£51.4m).

Meanwhile, UK live music industry umbrella group LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment), is among the organisations lobbying the Government to support festivals with an insurance scheme.

The current lack of such a scheme has led some of the country’s largest festivals to cancel their summer events, including Glastonbury. According to research by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), 92.5 per cent of its members cannot stage their events without an insurance scheme.