As terrorism attacks at large-scale music events have unfortunately become more of a tangible threat, artists are beginning to rely on terrorism insurance for their events, according to a new report in The Hollywood Reporter. Just in the past two years, the mass shooting in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, the bombing at Ariana Grande’s show in Manchester, England, and the attack on the Bataclan nightclub in Paris in 2015 have taken innocent lives of people. "Now more than ever they are targets," says Steves Rodriguez, business manager for Fifth Harmony.
Terrorism insurance has not always been a major concern for artists and their teams. But such policies, known as political violence and terrorism (PVT) insurance policies are becoming more commonplace as artists take their tours to bigger arenas and more cities around the world. In reality, nothing could prepare either the artists, their band, their managers, or concertgoers for the terror of an attack and its repercussions, but insurance policies can help the artist’s bottom line and are therefore becoming much more popular.
"If it's a big tour and you're a high-profile artist and you gather tens of thousands of people per show, you have to have it," says attorney Dina LaPolt, who represents Britney Spears and Steven Tyler.
Even the way the policies are written has been evolving thanks to the increased threat levels. "The way [policies had] been written previously is, the threat had to be related to the venue," said John Tomlinson, who leads the entertainment group of Lockton Cos., the world's largest privately held insurance brokerage. "We have expanded that language to include threats made to bandmembers.” Other policies might even include attacks made within days or miles from the concert venue itself.
"Not everybody believes it's necessary," Bill Tannenbaum, a business manager who specializes in representing touring artists, told THR. "I'm pretty vocal about taking it with my clients, and luckily we had it with Ariana Grande."
With that said, it’s not always a straightforward decision. “It's usually a battle with the artist to buy it," LaPolt explains. "If you get paid a million dollars, all of your tour costs come out of that million. So every penny counts."
And it’s not just concerts. Other large-scale live events like NCAA tournaments or trade shows are covered by terrorism insurance. Even those who anticipate a strong backlash to their work, even if it’s mostly behind-the-scenes work and not at live events, are looking to get covered. Jenji Kohan, the creator of Orange Is the New Black, told THR that she has had her office building insured against terrorism because the new show she is working on is about a teenage Jesus and she expects it to be controversial.
"You're always going to do something that someone doesn't like," Kohan said. "And you don't know how crazy that someone is going to be."