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Are Music Festivals Becoming Too High Risk To Insure.

Andy Robertson

A sizable cost of organising and running any music festival is the cost of insurance to cover most eventualities. Some underwriters and insurers may be giving music festivals extra scrutiny in the coming years because of some recent high-profile incidents so will this result in higher premiums for organisers affecting their financial viability.  


Any large scale multi day music festival could be looking at insurance premiums upwards of $300,000 which is a considerable cost to factor into the festival's financials, especially when the sector is known for running on very tight margins anyway. With tragic incidents like Astroworld and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic being factored into insurance premiums costs are likely to rise. 

Public Liability. 
This is insurance against accidental injury to members of the public at the festival and usually includes third-party property damage too. This type of insurance is compulsory in most countries and premiums can be quite high as any tragic incidents involving death and injury at other similar festivals will affect any risk assessment made by insurance companies.

Employers Liability. 
This relates to injury to staff members and most countries have this as a legal requirement for every company that employs people whether they are operating music festivals or not.

Event Equipment. 
Many festival organisers use contractors to rent or hire power generators and backline equipment for example and this insurance will cover damage or theft whilst the equipment is on the festival-site.

Cancellation or Postponement.
Insurance covering cancellation has become a topic of debate since the coronavirus pandemic hit with many policy wording being altered to remove coverage. The principle is that the insured are now only covered if the cancellation is due to unavoidable reasons not previously known to the organisers when they took out the policy. Adverse weather is therefore usually covered by these policies but cancellation due to coronavirus is now excluded.

Many insurance companies now offer a range of add on insurance policies with coverage for specific circumstances and the latest addition to this is cancellation due to coronavirus which is generally being underwritten by governments. Insurers that specialise in providing coverage for music festivals will often create an insurance product that covers all of their possible liabilities but it is prudent to see what is and isn't covered in such products. These specialist insurance companies understand the music festival sector and can provide advice on any add-on insurance products that may be beneficial. With premiums sometimes based on the number of festival-goers expected the larger the event the higher the premiums. Organisers should be shopping around for the best value insurance products in this competitive market and incorporating the expected premiums into their financial forecasts to ensure their music festival will remain financially viable.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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