Anything can happen when you’re on stage – just ask Gareth Marshall. Reggae and ska singer and Insure4Music policyholder Gareth was performing live at a pub in Southampton, covering the likes of UB40 and The Specials. Like many of his gigs, the vibe was intimate, the crowd were loving it – there were nothing to suggest that anything would go seriously wrong. Until the unthinkable happened.
Gareth had just got into a cover of Madness’ classic ‘One Step Beyond’, unaware of the madness which was ironically about to ensue. An audience member who’d had too much to drink surged to the front and fell head first into Gareth’s Vexus speakers, severely damaging one of them.
Gareth said: “My gigs tend to be quite intimate affairs – there’s often people within 3 or 4 feet of me. When I’m performing ska songs, they draw in a particular crowd and said crowd tend to get quite rowdy. Even though it’s usually under control, it’s definitely worth having specialist music insurance for when it gets slightly out of hand.
“On this occasion, I’d started playing ‘One Step Beyond’ when I noticed a drunk man jump in the air, lose his footing and plunge head first into the stack of speakers I was using. They went down like a Jenga set! There was a crackle from one of the speakers and then it went dead, and the guy who fell into it did a runner.”
As alcohol dripped off the damaged speaker, Gareth was faced with several serious dilemmas. Should he finish the gig? Would the person who damaged his speakers make a claim against him for injury? Would the speaker be fixed in time for his next gig?
Gareth said: “I wasn’t just thinking about the gig in Southampton or the one immediately after, I was thinking about the one after that and the one after that and so on. I couldn’t play with just one working speaker.
“I had no idea what to do. Music is my life and the thought of not playing for a while made me panic big time. It’s like being a race car driver with only three wheels. You might crawl to the finish line, but what about after that?
“I was also concerned that the guy who’d damaged my speakers would make a claim against me for injury and suggest it wasn’t his fault. That’s happened to me before, when someone dived at the stage, damaged a drumkit and made a compensation claim.”
Thankfully, in the words of Gareth’s reggae hero Bob Marley – ‘every little thing’ was ‘going to be alright.’ Thanks to Insure4Music, he was back playing in no time.
Gareth had taken out Insure4Music’s Public Liability cover, so was already covered if the injured audience member made a claim against him. Most importantly though, he also had Equipment Cover, so could replace the busted speaker with a like-for-like replacement.
This meant that he was able to perform at a reggae night in Weston-super-Mare, which was just two days after the Southampton gig.
He explained: “I called Insure4Music as soon as I could, and they were fantastic. Making a claim was simple, they explained what documentation was needed and my enquiry was dealt with swiftly. Thanks to their customer service team, I was able to buy a new speaker the following day, get reimbursed and didn’t miss the next gig.
“Insure4Music far exceeded my expectations and are top of my list for specialist music insurance. I’ve just insured my PA system with them because of the high level of service I received.”
Why specialist music insurance is essential
Some live musicians are cynical about the need to have specialist music insurance… but Gareth had a clear message for these people.
“You don’t really need specialist music insurance until you actually need it. In this day and age, it would be silly not cover yourself as a live musician, with all the potholes that exist in our society.
“Not only does having cover give you more of a buffer if something goes wrong, it stops you having to worry about a drunk person at one of your gigs!
“I would say to anyone who performs live gigs – if you think you don’t need specialist music insurance, on your head be it.”
If, like Gareth, you play live, we offer Equipment cover starting from £10 a year and £1 million of Public Liability cover starting from just £20 a year. Get a quick and easy policy with us today and make sure you never miss a gig.