Every year people from near and far gather to the Glastonbury Festival to witness five days of contemporary arts and music. However, the much loved and anticipated event was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic... And it looks like the Glastonbury has suffered the same fate this year.
Glastonbury announces cancellation
News of the festival’s cancellation was announced on Thursday through the event’s Twitter page. Organisers Michael and Emily Eavis wrote:
With great regret, we must announce that this year's Glastonbury Festival will not take place. And that this will be another enforced fallow year for us. Tickets for this year will roll over to next year. Michael & Emily.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden shared his sympathies with Michael and Emily over the social media platform stating that it was a ‘regrettable but understandable decision,’ but that it would simply not be feasible to have so many people in one space without triggering a rise in coronavirus cases:
This regrettable but understandable decision is recognition that public health comes first. And that right now, getting 200k fans together in just a few months looks very difficult to make safe.
Last month Emily spoke to the BBC stating that she hoped the festival would still be able to happen despite much uncertainty stating:
We're doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare. But I think we're still quite a long way from being able to say we're confident 2021 will go ahead.
A shaky future for the UK’s festival industry
Julian Knight MP, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has hit out at the government over Glastonbury’s cancellation stating that they are not doing enough to save the UK’s festival culture:
We have repeatedly called for ministers to act to protect our world-renowned festivals like this one with a government-backed insurance scheme. Our plea fell on deaf ears and now the chickens have come home to roost. The jewel in the crown will be absent but surely the government cannot ignore the message any longer - it must act now to save this vibrant and vital festivals sector.
On January 4th the government received a document from UK Music called ‘Let The Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021’ outlining all the precautions that could be taken in order to revive the festival industry after being hit hard by the pandemic. The government has now responded claiming:
We know these are challenging times for the live events sector and are working flat out to support it.
The news of Glastonbury’s second cancellation in a row comes not long after a host of musicians have criticised the Government’s Brexit move as ‘failing the music industry.’ A letter published by The Times, signed by over 100 musicians and a number of other prominent figures in the industry claimed that the new deal could threaten the future of cultural exchange. Musicians explained that Europe would become a ‘no-go zone’ when it comes to tours as a complicated visa process would make it very difficult for them to play paid gigs.