UNBOXED 2022 offers innovation - and employment

21 Oct 2021

Once derided as the Festival of Brexit, the eight-month mega event will "prove the naysayers wrong".

Welcome to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK

people looking at an art installation
21 Oct 2021

What happens when creative minds from different sectors and disciplines come together to imagine and design bold, large-scale events to reach millions of people worldwide? Martin Green reveals what’s in store for 2022.

City of Culture 2025 a 'springboard' regardless of longlist

11 Oct 2021

The challenge now for some of the latecomers will be completing years' worth of planning in weeks.

Little moments of joy

Projection on cargo truck
09 Jun 2021

While audiences are most comfortable returning to outdoor events, organising a festival that can flex around ever-changing restrictions is still no mean feat. Penny Mills and Jonathan Goodacre have been looking at what’s working.

Coventry 2021: City of Culture is open for business

Coventry city of culture shop
19 May 2021

Despite all the difficulties of the past year, Jake Bartle and Emily Coleman are confident that this year’s festival will be a celebration of artistic achievement and are welcoming visitors with open arms.

Question marks over festival insurance scheme

21 Oct 2021

Event organisers say they have been unable to obtain quotes for the Government's Live Events Reinsurance Scheme. 

Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) Chief Executive Paul Reed confirmed cover does not stretch to festivals that cancel if capacity restrictions are reintroduced.

"The scheme only covers you in the event of a civil authority shutdown at either local or national level, so it is extremely limited in scope."

The £750m scheme also doesn't cover artists or workforces scheduled for cancelled festivals.

A recent study found 58% of AIF members are not likely to pursue quotes for the scheme.

"They [the Government] want far too much money and there are too many caveats in it," Reed added.

"I think they just keep paying us lip service like they have done all the way down the line."

Dance is back – live and direct

group of dancers
06 Oct 2021

Birmingham International Dance Festival is a celebration of the return to outdoor arts. For Debbie Jardine and Raidene Carter, it is both a taste and a test for next year's Cultural Programme of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Coventry 2021: spotlighting disabled artists 

a group of performers
28 Sep 2021

Jake Bartle reports on how Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 is shining a spotlight on disabled artists.

Council axes popular blues festival

27 Sep 2021

The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival has been cancelled by Colne Town Council due to rising costs.

Council chair, Liberal Democrat Mary Thomas, said the council "no longer has the resources" to run the festival after taking over its administration in 2017.

"It has become clear over the three years that Colne Town Council has run the festival that it has become unsustainable in its current form.

"Ticket sales for the main stages have been falling year on year. In addition, the buyers... have overwhelmingly been from an older demographic and we have been unable to attract a younger audience in enough numbers."

The town council expects to stage a new summer music festival from next year.

Awarded UK Blues Festival of the Year 2019, the event is estimated to have attracted 25,000 people to the Lancashire town that year. It has been an annual event for the past 30 years.

A petition calling for the decision to be overturned has received more than 5,000 signatures online.

Live Events Reinsurance Scheme officially opens

24 Sep 2021

The Government's insurance scheme for events has officially opened with an extra £50m to cover potential Covid-related cancellations.

£800m will be available to event organisers which have purchased standard cover at least 12 weeks out from the date.

The scheme's start was delayed by a day as the Government finalised arrangements with insurers.

Munich Re, Beazley, Arch, Dale, and Ark are carriers of the scheme, with more firms coming on board in the weeks to come.

Birmingham 2022 releases festival details

17 Sep 2021

Birmingham 2022 has released details of the six-month festival set to run across the West Midlands as part of the Commonwealth Games.

The £12m festival will showcase art, photography, dance, theatre and digital commissions between March and October next year.

It will open with a new production, Wondrous Stories, performed by Leamington Spa-based dance circus company Motionhouse. The festival's full programme is set to be released in January,

“This spectacular festival will feature over 300 brand new creative works, providing essential funding direct to artists and thousands of participatory moments for audiences,” Birmingham 2022 Chief Creative Office Martin Green said.

Birmingham Council's Creative City Grants will support the festival by offering 150 community groups grants of up to £20,000 to deliver creative projects that “impact positively on their community”.

This latest funding drive follows £100,000 pledged by the Games to create artworks depicting sporting events.

Reinsurance won't cover cancellations due to capacity limits

10 Sep 2021

Any reintroduction of social distancing won't be covered under the Government's £750m scheme, which comes with hefty premiums.

126,000 events industry jobs lost to Covid-19

08 Sep 2021

93% of organisers have changed their business models in response to the pandemic but a full recovery isn't expected until 2023 at the earliest.

Festival visit sparks call for Irish capacity events

07 Sep 2021

Irish deputy prime minister Leo Varadkar has been criticised for attending a music festival in London whilst his government maintains restrictions on live events.

Ireland’s largest music festival Electric Picnic - cancelled this year due to capacity restrictions - was scheduled for the same weekend Varadkar was spotted at Mighty Hoopla.

The Event Industry Alliance (EIA) said it was “glad” to see Varadkar trust the UK’s safety measures and demanded a full reopening of Irish venues.

“It has been repeatedly stated and acknowledged by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister Micheál Martin) and the Tánaiste (Varadkar) that the commercial event sector requires 100% capacity to be viable,” the EIA added.

Ireland authorised indoor events to resume at 60% capacity and outdoor events at 75% on Monday (September 6). A return to full capacity events has been earmarked for October 22.

Nations press ahead with vaccine passports for events

02 Sep 2021

More concrete plans to require certification at large events come as research indicates the policy could put people off getting vaccinated.

UK City of Culture competition in need of redesign

01 Sep 2021

The UK City of Culture is a DCMS success story by any standards. But, as Andrew Dixon explains, serious flaws in this year’s bidding process have been likened to “sitting an exam before you’ve read the syllabus”.

Higher Covid rates for festivals in test events scheme

26 Aug 2021

DCMS says its Events Research Programme is proof events "can be conducted safely" despite thousands testing positive after attending festivals in the scheme.

£750m live events insurance scheme approved

06 Aug 2021

The sector's prayers have finally been answered but the scheme comes with a significant premium that could prove challenging for smaller operators.

The future of festivals with 5G

photo taken inside Brighton Dome during 5G festival
20 Jul 2021

Brighton Dome has been participating in 5G Festival trials to test new technology that could revolutionise the festival experience. Donna Close shares the findings. 

Masks to stay in arts venues as Stage 4 opening confirmed

13 Jul 2021

The Government "expect and recommend" masks in enclosed public spaces - and cultural venues are taking the lead.


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