Music industry ramps up call for national event insurance scheme

Australian musicians and concert promoters have ramped up pressure on government to underwrite Covid cancellation insurance for live events.

The inability for event organisers to get insurance to cover the costs of Covid related cancelation has been a major hurdle to recovery for the live events sector.

Promoters, artists and music industry bodies called on the federal government to set up a national scheme at a parliamentary hearing yesterday.

The Government has passed the buck to states and territories arguing they are responsible for restrictions and border closures and should therefore foot the bill for any insurance scheme that covers losses stemming from those restrictions.

Tasmania and Western Australia have implemented their own state-based underwriting schemes for the live performance sector but the sector says a national approach is needed given the cross border nature of live events.

Speaking to the ABC, singer-songwriter Pete Murray said any scheme needs a national approach to be workable.

“Without the federal government playing a role, no scheme can be workable,” he said.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, I’m probably a fairly successful musician, and I’m nervous.

“There’s a lot of fear.”

Music company Eleven’s president, John Watson, said the lack of insurance options was a “market failure”.

“More and more people are just saying it is too risky to take on touring,” he told the ABC.

The committee will report back on the bill by November 3 before it is voted on.