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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Festivals in 2021 also endangered: ‘State must guarantee if necessary’

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No Pinkpop, no Lowlands, no Zwarte Cross and no festivals on King’s Day. Because of the corona virus, the squares will remain empty until September 1, the stages in the store and the artists at home. 2020 is therefore a disaster year for the entire event sector. But the festival season of 2021 is also already in danger.

Since the end of February, after the first corona patients were reported in the Netherlands, insurers have removed coverage from a pandemic. This means that event organizers can no longer insure themselves against this for next year.

‘We cannot work without insurance’

“Fortunately, we were insured against a pandemic this year,” says Jasper Coenen, co-owner of Elevation Events, an agency that organizes the festivals Soenda, Smeerboel and the SOIA festival, which normally takes place on King’s Day in Utrecht. “But next year no one can take out insurance against that anymore.”

Organizers often start preparing events, including costs, almost a year in advance. Coenen: “We cannot work without such insurance.”

Too expensive to insure

Until early this year, coverage against pandemics was still included as standard in the package, says Maarten van Denderen, founder of Klap No Risk. His agency is one of the major insurers in the Netherlands for music events.

Van Denderen cannot yet say how much his company will have to pay this year because events have been canceled. Insurer NN also says that it is still too early for an assessment of the damage.

The reason that the coverage against pandemics has now been removed from the package is because, according to Van Denderen, there is no longer any insurance against it. “As an insurer, you look at how big the risk is, and I want to take it over at a certain premium,” he explains. “The risk is now so great that the premium becomes very high. Then you might as well not be insured. There is no insurer in the world that still insures this.”

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