Peter Gabriel Needs Government Insurance for His 2021 Womad Festival
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Music

The 'Sledgehammer' singer says he will have to call off his annual music festival this year if the organizers don't receive insurance from U.K. government.

AceShowbiz - Peter Gabriel fears his 2021 Womad festival will be scrapped if he and his partners don't get government insurance.

The "Sledgehammer" star is hoping to stage the world music and arts event on 22 July (21) - two days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to lift U.K. health and safety restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 - and the rocker is worried the event will be a flop as many fans wait to see if they'll actually be able to attend.

In a new BBC Radio 4 interview, Gabriel says, "In some ways I'm speaking for a lot of the festival industry, particularly the independents, because we're not asking for handouts. What we need is the security, because most of us can't take the risk of losing everything once we committed to the set up."

"Commercial insurance has run a mile, effectively, and you can understand why. So, if we're trying to restore cultural life and normality we need a bit of help here. There's too much uncertainty for most festival promoters to take the risk."

"We've been faced with bankruptcy on two occasions previous and if we're trying to secure the future of the festival, which is very important to us, and our staff, we can't risk sinking it this year," the former Genesis star adds.

In response, a government spokesman told the BBC, "Festival organisers have so far received more than £34 million of our unprecedented £2 billion bailout for the arts. WOMAD mentioned today had a £250,000 grant in the first round of funding, and more funding is being made available for those in need."

Gabriel's comments come days after organisers of the Black Deer Festival in Kent announced the cancellation of their event later this month (Jun21).

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