All Points East chief: You can feel the joy from music fans

The head of festival All Points East has said “you can feel the joy from music fans” as the event returns after a year away.

The festival, based in London’s Victoria Park, was cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it returns this bank holiday weekend from August 27 to August 30.

A string of top UK acts will take to the stage across the four days, with Jamie xx, London Grammar and Foals among the headliners.

Jim King, the CEO of European festivals at AEG Presents – which stages All Points East, said: “It’s incredible to be back and you can feel the joy from music fans gathering to watch listen and discover music again, 817 days since Bon Iver played his last note at All Points East in 2019.

“It is so important for fans and also all the people who work in the live music industry.

“They are some of the most hard working and skilled people and to see them return to what they do best again, is wonderful.

“And for artists who have been on the rise through a pandemic, this is essential.”

Headlining Friday night’s stage are Indie band London Grammar and singer-songwriter Jorja Smith, with Loyle Carner, Celeste, Mura Musa and Mahalia among the special guests.

King added: “London Grammar play tonight and they haven’t been able to perform their first Number one album since it was released in April.

“Jorja Smith has become one the UK’s hottest artist and there is a huge demand to see her play.

“We have sold 160,000 tickets for four days, it’s clear that everyone is eager to get back to live music.”

Jamie xx and Kano will headline on Saturday alongside Tom Misch, Slowthai, Little Simz and Arlo Parks.

On Sunday, the festival is teaming up with another event, Field Day, which will feature DJs, including Bicep and The Blessed Madonna.

To close the bank holiday weekend on Monday, Foals and Bombay Bicycle Club will headline, and artists such as Caribou, Lianne La Havas and Gang of Youths will also perform throughout the day.

According to reports, large numbers have tested positive for coronavirus after attending festivals this summer.

This includes more than 1,000 people who went to Latitude Festival last month reportedly testing positive afterwards, despite having to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or be double vaccinated to attend.

All Points East has worked alongside Public Health experts, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the NHS and emergency services to implement the correct safety precautions for everyone at the festival.

All festival attendees will also be required to provide an NHS Covid pass and are encouraged to wear masks to further protect everyone on site.

When asked if he was ever concerned that All Points East would have to cancel due to Covid-19 uncertainty, King said: “There are so many major events happening around the country this weekend, from music festivals to football matches and all of the supporting leisure industry alongside these.

“It’s important for everyone that we get back to normality safely and as quickly as we are able to.

“The live music industry is operating to a higher standard of control measures than any other industry, including a Covid pass for anyone entering and working at the event.

“Ultimately, our team have made sure we have not only followed but we have exceeded all government guidelines to allow for a safe event.”