Ticket prices will rise as summer festivals and events face skyrocketing insurance costs
Ticket prices for summer festivals and shows are expected to rise due to soaring insurance premiums and soaring expenses.
Event organizers have said customers are likely to be hit in the pocket, with entry fees rising to as much as €10 in some cases.
Agricultural shows have had to deal with insurance premiums rising by up to 25%, while festivals have also seen a huge increase in running costs.
The Alliance for Insurance Reform said tourism, hospitality, entertainment and leisure businesses that had survived the pandemic were now being hit on average by a 16% increase in premiums.
From six-figure insurance premiums to the cost of marquee hire that has nearly doubled, the summer is expected to be costly for events and businesses trying to recover from Covid-19.
A handful of arts festivals have already been canceled this year, with organizers citing insurance concerns.
Some agricultural shows confirmed, entry prices should increase between 5 and 10 €.
Irish Shows Association national secretary Jim Harrison said insurance and general costs had risen significantly for his 133 affiliated agricultural shows.
“Liability insurance is the problem, it’s up about 25%, but everything has gone up about the same, including marquees, gates, sound equipment and even barrier hire. crowd control,” he said.
“The price of entry to the shows could be a problem, with the price of diesel and the price of flour to feed the cattle rising.
“It would be difficult for the exhibitor to feed the animals, get them into show condition, and then go to the show themselves – and that needs to be taken into account.”
Mr Harrison said the shows would probably have to pass on the costs in terms of ticket prices, but insisted: ‘You’re probably only talking about a few pounds.
Association of Irish Festival Events executive director Colm Croffy said some festivals with live animals or circus talent had been unable to obtain any insurance.
“Insurance – where it can be purchased – is more limited, has more restrictions and can be very expensive,” he said.
He is also concerned that event attendance will be affected by the rising cost of inflation.
“There was a craze around Christmas when people were throwing €25 on tickets, but everyone has had two oil and electricity bills since then,” he said.
Meanwhile, community festival organizers have had to narrow the range of events on offer in a bid to cut costs — and secure insurance coverage.
The Ballina Salmon Festival in Co Mayo, which attracts around 200,000 visitors from around the world, made headlines when it was canceled in 2019 after its insurance premium quadrupled.
This year’s activities had to be seriously curtailed to lower the bounty.
“The days of go-karts, watersports and anything else that poses the slightest risk are over because you have no hope of being covered,” said Mags Martin of the Ballina Chamber of Commerce.
Businesses in the leisure and adventure sectors have been closed for long periods during the Covid-19 pandemic. They, too, have been affected by soaring premiums.
While the majority managed to hedge for this summer, it came at a huge cost.
Richie O’Hara, manager of Baysports in Athlone, Co Roscommon, has an insurance bill of £102,000.
Baysports offers an inflatable water park and water activities and crafts only between April and October. Despite this, Mr O’Hara still has to pay €10,000 for his insurance premium each month. There is also a deductible of €10,000 on each claim.
“I’ve been in the adventure travel business for over 40 years and we have a strong track record,” O’Hara said.
“I recognize first of all that people have the right to be taken care of, which we strive for, and they have the right to make a complaint if they feel they have been mistreated, but during the 10 Over the past few years, I’ve noticed an increase in people willing to try and file a claim and get money for things that weren’t our fault.
“In 2015, our premium was €7,798. This year we are paying €102,000.”
Mr O’Hara said he installed security cameras which helped his company successfully defend its claims.
“You have situations where someone says something happened, but then you look at the camera and that’s not what happened at all,” he said.
“We have an outstanding claim from 2014 after a child cut his knee and it still impacts your policy every year. Rebalancing duty of care is essential because few companies can continue like this,” he added.