AIF

A statement from AIF CEO Paul Reed on today's Budget announcement

Trade body welcomes extension to VAT cut and CRF - but reiterates need for Government-backed insurance.

London, 3rd March 2021

“We warmly welcome the extension to the reduced VAT rate on tickets, which will really help festivals during the 2021 sales cycle. For many AIF members, this is the first period in which they are selling tickets since the outset of the pandemic. We do, however, reiterate the recommendation of the DCMS Select Committee for VAT on ticket sales to remain at a reduced rate for three years so that the UK festival sector can fully recover.

“The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline for many of our members so it’s greatly encouraging to see a further £300m invested into this, though we would appreciate some further detail on this additional round and the time period it will cover.

“We also welcome the extension to the Government’s furlough scheme and continued support for the self-employed. However, independent festival organisers would much rather mobilise their staff to plan a full and successful festival season this summer. As we have repeatedly stressed, the only way they can do this is with a Government-backed insurance scheme that covers COVID-19 related cancellation. The Chancellor today confirmed the extension of the Government-backed restart scheme for film and TV productions – a similar safety net needs to be put in place before the end of March to avoid mass cancellations throughout the UK’s festival market.”

AIF

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is the UK's leading non-profit festival trade association. Created to represent and empower independent festivals.