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Do you need festival insurance?

Do you need festival insurance?

Festivals are a great chance for us to get together and connect, doing things we love. But behind the scenes they take a lot of work to put on. If you’re organising a festival, don’t forget to arrange insurance, to make sure you’re covered if things don’t go quite to plan.  

Emily Kindness
From the Business team
3
minute read
posted 11 MARCH 2020

Why do I need insurance when organising a festival?

Whether you’re putting on a four-day music event, a foodie fair, a family friendly beer festival or the local village fete, having a comprehensive insurance policy will help protect you from any unexpected claims. Because no matter how well you organise, or how carefully you assess risks, there’s always something that can go wrong.   
 
What if a festivalgoer trips on an uneven surface and gets hurt? Or someone spills a beer on the expensive sound system? What if a bad storm rolls through and devastates your venue days before the event? Or your main performer cancels at the last minute?  
 
If you have any employees working for you at the festival, you’re required by law to take out employers’ liability insurance. And if you’re hiring a private venue for your event, the owner may also require you to have public liability insurance. 
 
With any event or festival, it’s wise to make sure you have the right cover, to avoid potentially costly claims or large losses.  
 
It’s also a good idea to arrange insurance cover as soon as you can in case of cancellation. 

What does festival insurance include?

Festival insurance policies can be quite complex as they need to cover the organiser for a wide range of potential issues: 

  • Public liability insurance
    Covers you if any festival goers get hurt or injured – or worse - while at the festival, as well as for third-party property damage. 
  • Employers’ liability insurance 
    Covers you if any of your employees or any volunteers helping you, get hurt while working at the festival.
  • Equipment insurance 
    Covers you for any damage to equipment associated with the festival, including any equipment you may have hired. 
  • Cancellation insurance 
    Covers you if the event is cancelled because of unforeseen circumstances, helping you get back any costs you would have otherwise lost. 
  • Severe weather insurance
    Covers you for cancellation of the festival in adverse weather conditions or because of a storm.  

Is there anything festival insurance won’t cover me for?

You should check your insurance policy carefully to look out for any exclusions. Some public liability insurance may not cover you for damage or injuries caused by vandalism or malicious acts. Or your equipment cover may exclude specific items like fireworks or inflatables.  
 
Employers’ liability insurance won’t cover you for any third-party contractors you use for the festival, such as security or catering services. They should have their own insurance in place, as should any performers or entertainers.  
 
Another thing to consider if you’re organising a ticketed event is professional indemnity insurance. This can help protect you if festivalgoers claim the services provided haven’t met expectations in line with what was advertised.  

How much will festival insurance cost?

The cost of festival insurance can vary a lot and will depend on the cover you need, and the size and complexity of the festival.  
 
For example, if the festival will go on for several days, or is taking place outside the UK, the insurance will be higher. And if there are lots of potentially hazardous activities – like climbing or water sports – you can expect to pay more. 
 
The premium for public liability insurance will depend on how many festivalgoers you’re expecting. Likewise, the premium for employee liability insurance will depend on how many employees you have. The event equipment premium will depend on how expensive the equipment is.  

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