Festival season ‘still possible despite the cancellation of Glastonbury’

PA

A festival season is “still possible” this year despite the cancellation of Glastonbury, according to the chief executive of the Association of Independent Festivals.

Paul Reed told BBC Breakfast that if the Government ensures organisers of music events can access insurance there is hope that smaller festivals can still go ahead.

On Thursday, Glastonbury organisers Michael and Emily Eavis announced that the festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic.

99% of Glastonbury tents taken home
99% of Glastonbury tents taken home

Mr Reed said: “I will say about Glastonbury that it is a different beast to most festivals and most likely ran out of time due to the size and complexity of the event.

“For most festivals the cut-off point is more likely the end of March.”

He said we are at a “serious point in the pandemic and festivals only want to return when it is safe to do so”.

“This is devastating news about Glastonbury, not least for the amount of staff and freelancers and companies involved in delivering the event, but a festival season is still possible for this year if Government act now on insurance.”

He added that festivals are currently struggling to get insurance for coronavirus-related cancellations.

Glastonbury Festival 2015 – Day 1
Glastonbury Festival 2015 – Day 1

“We do need Government to intervene in this issue,” he said.

On Thursday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he “shares the disappointment of everyone that Glastonbury won’t be going ahead this year”.

He added: “We continue to help the arts on recovery, including looking at problems around getting insurance.”

A statement from Glastonbury said organisers had moved “heaven and earth” to try to put the event on this year.

The festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset was sold out for 2021 because so few people have asked for a refund from last year, when headliners Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar were all due to perform.

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