Throwing Your Own Concert: Insurance Coverage

As a concert promoter there are a number of things you will never read or comprehend until you are dealing with your first concert. The first experience I learned was the need of General Liability Insurance. In this edition of “Throwing Your Own Concert”, I will go over the game of concert insurance coverage.

Talent buyers a.k.a concert promoters, must be able to provide a certificate of insurance when promoting concerts. This certificate details the type of insurance and its level of coverage. The need for insurance cannot be overstated and will become your best friend in many cases. To purchase concert insurance, promoters work with an insurance broker whom will advise and go over possible coverage levels. When the talent buyer signs the performance agreement or venue rental agreement before the insurance broker has reviewed them, in many cases the result could be disastrous.

Common Types of Concert Insurance Coverage

  • General Liability Policy
  • Event Cancellation Policy
  • Artist Nonappearance Option
  • Weather Insurance
  • Pyrotechnics Insurance

Determining the Cost of Insurance

General Liability Insurance

The most influential factor that insurance companies calculate for the cost of General Liability Insurance is the genre of music at a rate per attendee, which varies. Classical music may be fifteen cents per attendee where as with a heavy metal or hip-hop concert, you might be spending a dollar or more per attendee.

General Liability Insurance coverage for a hip hop concert is a hard policy to obtain due to the history of violence. What’s worse is that due to the high costs of insurance, many promoters go without the coverage – taking a huge risk. Many booking agents go as far as not booking a date if the concert will be uninsured.

This doesn’t apply only to hip hop, as heavy metal and indie rock are also known for high insurance rates. As stated in the Ray Waddell book This Business of Concert Promotion & Touring; “a genre of music that routinely permits dangerous behavior, including noshing and stage diving, maybe considered an uninsurable risk, an act that the carrier considers too risky to insure.”

Event Cancellation & Weather Insurance

The cost of an Event Cancellation policy is influenced by the total budget of the event because the insurance carrier is obligated to reimburse the promoter for the lost revenue. The same goes for an Artist Nonappearance option.

When Weather Insurance is included with an Event Insurance coverage policy, the carrier uses data including variables that determine the likelihood of bad weather. Those variables include where the event is taking place, the time of day, day of the week and month of the show.


In conclusion, when you are brainstorming ideas for your dream concert, make sure to budget enough money for insurance. Don’t get stuck having to change your dream conception after not being able to finance your event due to concert insurance coverage. Simple reminder, always go over insurance policies once you know the venue and its capacity, the artist, and their respective genre but before you sign any contracts.

Header image based on “FallFest Crowd” by Chad Cooper, CC-BY-2.0.

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About Julian Keaton

Julian Keaton is an artist and entrepreneur responsible for motivating his Stereo Assault team to produce and write the best urban culture journalism and media content possible. He also manages hip-hop acts J'Demul, Souls of Liberty and MME.

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