Organizers have high hopes for SXSW 2022 | The UK Government addresses calls for insurance | Fans from abroad are banned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Organizers have high hopes for SXSW 2022

Since 1987, South by Southwest has been the place for media and entertainment professionals around the globe to come together to “meet, learn and share ideas”. Through the decades, the festival has grown into something so much more and even those outside the arts, music and tech industries look forward to attending year after year. From music to films to comedy, the festival serves as a showcase for new and existing talent running alongside the traditional conference schedule. This year the speakers ranged from business tycoon Mark Cuban to former NBA star Chris Webber (Go Blue!).

sxsw logo

2020’s installment of the festival was one of the first major events to be cancelled and this year was all digital. Even though the state of Texas has lifted all restrictions, the City of Austin wisely made the call to stick with the guidance offered by the CDC and the conference took place online. Next year though, organizers are confident the festival will return to its former glory. Dates have been announced for March 11 - 20 and vaccine protocols are already on the radar.  

Alright, so here’s the thing about insurance…

...it’s supposed to be there for you when bad things happen, right? If the UK government is unwilling to provide an insurance scheme until there’s “certainty that events will be able to take place”, what would be the point of the insurance? 🤨

It’s safe to assume that everyone is aware of the UK exit plan and the expectation that June 21 is intended to mark the end of the pandemic in the country (but if not, you can read about it in our February 26 update). Following the announcement, the live event industry began the daunting task of trying to convince the government to help provide some assurances so organizers could begin the planning process (read more in our March 6 update).

This brings us up to Wednesday, March 24. Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage responded to questions from the DCMS committee about these calls for a government backed insurance scheme to help bring back live events. The result...it seems there is a misunderstanding about the point of event insurance.

minister denies request for government backed insurance until events are certain to return

“As a minister responsible for this, I would much rather be able to make an announcement when I’m absolutely certain things can go ahead, or at least in a much better sense of predictability that things can go ahead, than announce an indemnity scheme and give people the confidence only to pull the rug out from underneath their feet again.” But wait...that’s what the festival cancellation scheme is for…

Unfortunately, restarting isn’t as simple as turning the lights back on and as long as the government continues to lack confidence in the vaccination rollout, the less likely we are to see events return in 2021.

Fans from abroad are banned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

It’s official, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee has announced that international spectators will not be allowed to visit Japan for the games. 1 million people that have purchased tickets to the olympics will not be allowed to attend and will be issued refunds. Capacity restrictions are still being discussed and expected to be announced sometime next month.

tokyo 2020 olympic rings

In somewhat more positive news, the Olympic torch relay began on Thursday and, you guessed it, it looked different this year. The ceremony was conducted behind closed doors with only 300 people in attendance. People are discouraged from coming out to watch the torch being passed. Officials will be keeping a close eye on the crowding situation and will reroute the 4 month long parade if it becomes a problem.