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Will the 2021 festival go ahead?


JoeyT
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Glastonbury 2021   

434 members have voted

  1. 1. Following the Oxford Vaccine news will it go ahead?

    • Yes - I 100% believe
      43
    • Yes - I think so but not close to 100%. Need to see how the roll out progresses.
      158
    • Maybe - I'm 50/50
      87
    • Unlikely - Even with the latest news I think it's unlikely to take place
      79
    • No - The vaccine news is great but I can't see 200k people being allowed at Worthy Farm in June.
      67


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35 minutes ago, crazyfool1 said:

Melvin Benn is a happy man. “It feels to me like we’ve just won the lottery,” says the man behind the Reading and Leeds, Latitude and Download music festivals.

The music industry veteran is reacting to today’s news that Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine has been proven to be up to 90 per cent effective. The boss of Festival Republic says he could barely contain his excitement when the breakthrough was announced on Radio 4 at six minutes past seven this morning. Add to this the two other potential vaccines, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Covid-19 Winter Plan and Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s comment that life should start to feel normal by next Easter, and Benn says that summer 2021 is “looking incredibly positive.”

After a year in which music festivals were stamped out by the global pandemic, the good news could be the shot in the arm that the industry so desperately needs. It is now “very very very highly likely” that Reading, Leeds, Latitude and Download will go ahead next summer as hoped, Benn says. These festivals alone have a combined audience of 330,000 and give a platform to hundreds of bands. “All of the events for the summer feel like they have just had a weight lifted off them,” says Benn.

 

John Giddings, who runs the Isle of Wight Festival, agrees. He tells me he’s “75 to 80 per cent confident” that his festival will go ahead next June. “We’re planning as if it’s going to happen,” he says. Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Lionel Ritchie and Lewis Capaldi are among those lined up to perform. “They’re all gagging to play. They’re desperate. We’ve sold over 40,000 tickets,” says Giddings.

 

And this morning Glastonbury Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis raised hopes that her Somerset shindig would go ahead too. Eavis posted a picture on Instagram of what she called a “dreamy sunrise”. She added: “And great news on the vaccine too! Hope for us all…” No official comment on Glastonbury’s status is expected until the new year, though.

But all this hope has substance. The Prime Minister’s Winter Plan highlighted the partial return of “live performances” depending on which Tier areas are in. Under Johnson’s new plans, live performances in Tier 1 areas – that’s areas where the Covid risk is classed as Medium – are limited to 50 per cent capacity of a venue or 4,000 people outdoors and 1,000 people indoors (whichever is lower). In Tier 2 (High risk) areas, numbers are limited to 50 per cent capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors (whichever is lower). And in Tier 3 areas (Very High risk), normal events are not permitted although drive-in concerts are.

These measures may sound restrictive. But given where the arts sector has been for most of the year, they represent a leap towards freedom. Addressing the nation as he outlined his plan, Johnson said that an “escape route is in sight”. Festival promoters will be hoping that by the time the clocks go forward next March, the escape tunnel will be behind them and they’ll be charging towards the sunlit uplands.

To some, festivals might stand for little more than music played in a field to hordes of refreshed hedonists. But Britain’s live music sector is worth £1.1 billion a year to the economy and employs tens of thousands of people. Many of these people haven’t worked this year or have been forced to find alternative employment. Try telling them that none of this matters. There’s also the impact on wider economies to consider: the Isle of Wight Festival brings £10 million of extra business to the island’s economy every year, while Glastonbury generates £100 million a year to local businesses and charities.

But even though festivals are likely to return in 2021, the process of going to one will feel different. It would be impossible to enforce social distancing at a festival, so testing will become a big part of the mix. Organisers believe there will be a requirement for festivalgoers to prove that they don’t have Covid or are immune before entering the site. This means that as well as packing their wellies and hosing down their tent before heading off to a festival, people will have to self-test or have a vaccine jab. This could add to the cost, which may potentially put people off. “If the cost is a fiver [to self-test] people won’t care. If it’s £100 people will care,” says Giddings. An extra cost will also hit organisers in the form of testing facilities on site

There is also the issue of enforceability at the festival gates. If someone turns up without evidence of a negative test or a vaccine, will organisers be legally obliged to send them home? And will the ticket-holder be entitled to compensation?

There are ways around this. Ticket seller Ticketmaster is considering asking fans to verify that they’ve been vaccinated or are Covid-free prior to digital tickets being issued. A similar system of digital ‘vaccine passports’ for UK festivals would pre-empt the need for this issue to be dealt with at festival site itself. But it is logistically tricky and will no doubt have ‘Big Brother’ implications to many. Ticketmaster was swift to stress that its plan was only a “potential possibility” after an online backlash from the likes of 1990s pop group Right Said Fred, who said on Twitter: “Here it is, vaccines will be mandatory in all but name.” But it is highly likely that festivals will have to adopt similar measures. Benn says it’s “almost inevitable” that some form of digital health passport will be required next summer. Rarely will going to a rock ‘n’ roll show feel so un-rock ‘n’ roll. But needs must.

On the plus side, festivals are likely to be more hygienic next summer, with toilet facilities cleaned more regularly. And Benn says they will almost certainly be cash-free events as card payments are less likely to spread the virus than thousands of notes and coins circulating around.

But there is one outstanding issue that could yank the guitar lead from the amp before the first power chord is even played. And that’s insurance.

Throughout the Covid crisis, concert promoters have been unable to get pandemic cover in their insurance policies. This means that they can’t claim compensation if they’re forced to cancel due to Covid-19. And few promoters are likely to press ahead with a festival and all its associated costs if they’re not covered by insurance.

With the issue of vaccination looking like it’s covered, Benn says that insurance is now “the single most important factor” in whether festivals will go ahead or not. Given the vaccination news, he says that insurance companies may soften their stance and start offering some form of pandemic cover as the chances of huge pay-outs are reduced. Or he says that the government could step forward and underwrite live events with a special Covid cancellation clause.

He hopes that the government will look at this issue after Christmas when they have “more headspace to consider peripheral considerations as opposed to core considerations” related to Covid. He believes that this state-backed underwriting is the more realistic option because insurance company’s premiums, if they’re offered, are likely to be prohibitively expensive.

Giddings agrees that the issue of insurance is “very serious” (he doesn’t have any Covid cancellation cover for next year either). “If it all gets cancelled and we’ve committed to a lot of costs, we’re screwed,” he says. How would that play out? “Er, we’ll go bust,” he says, before qualifying his comment. “Listen, I don’t know. It’s all a juggle isn’t it? It’s all an absolute juggle. This is what it boils down to. I can’t predict that [next year’s festival] is definitely going to happen – I am quietly confident it is going to happen – and if it doesn’t happen, I know we don’t have insurance against a pandemic so all bets are off then. It’s a question of what costs we’re committed to, isn’t it?”

His last comment is key. It means that timing is currently a huge play in organisers’ considerations. Commit too much money too soon, and that money may be lost if festivals don’t happen and insurance, in whatever form, is not forthcoming. But hold back too long, and promoters will be scrambling to put on the show in time should it go ahead.

 

Festivals sites take time to build: construction of the Isle of Wight site is due to start at the end of May while construction of the far bigger Glastonbury site is scheduled to commence in March. Meanwhile physical infrastructure (stages, lighting and temporary roads) and personnel (construction workers, catering, security) need to be booked months prior to the build beginning. Next summer may seem like a long way off, but the moment is fast approaching for festivals to decide whether to commit or not. The “juggle” that Giddings talks about is frighteningly real. Back in March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised to do “whatever it takes” to support businesses through the pandemic. Festival organisers will be on tenterhooks to see if he’s as good as his word almost a year on.

 

But just as festival organisers are having to weigh up the balance of risk and hassle, so are music fans. If festivals go ahead, people’s attendance will all boil down to how much value they put on that feeling of standing in a field with friends listening to live music. Are those hoops worth jumping through? Does the joy of being there trump the inconvenience of getting there? Is the juice worth the squeeze?

 

Unsurprisingly, Giddings says people are “desperate to get out there and enjoy themselves”. When the Isle of Wight Festival announced its cancellation last summer, fewer than five per cent of ticketholders asked for their money back. They simply held on to their tickets for next year.

 

“There’s nothing better than music in the open air and enjoying it. The thing about a festival is that you can speak to anyone. It’s not like a football match where you speak to someone and you might get beaten up because they support the other team,” says Giddings. You can sense his mixture of hope and excitement that next year happens. “A few tunes in a field. Sharing the experience of music can’t be beaten.”

 

We’ll know over the coming months whether the bands really will play on or not.

 

 

 

 

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Tl;Dr

 

Festival organisers are confident they will happen. 

They are planning for testing in advance, one way is by health passports before tickets are released

Glastonbury contributes 100million to the local economy

Key block now is ability of festivals to get insurance in case of cancellation due to the pandemic.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Leyrulion said:

It is now “very very very highly likely” that Reading, Leeds, Latitude and Download will go ahead next summer as hoped, Benn says.

Until there's a formal statement from GFL, Download is probably the best marker we have - 80,000 capacity and comes close to selling out every year. Next year it's scheduled to take place 3 weeks before Glastonbury and so will likely have a similar timescale in terms of taking a final decision on whether to go ahead or not.

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Very interesting and obviously positive. Personally I still just don’t see testing being a part of attending festivals. I think we will reach a point where the vulnerable have been vaccinated, and the rest of us will just wait our turn and may well end up catching it at in the meantime. I might be wrong though.

They also reference the ticketmaster thing re: vaccination but I thought that been debunked?

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33 minutes ago, Leyrulion said:

Melvin Benn is a happy man. “It feels to me like we’ve just won the lottery,” says the man behind the Reading and Leeds, Latitude and Download music festivals.

The music industry veteran is reacting to today’s news that Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine has been proven to be up to 90 per cent effective. The boss of Festival Republic says he could barely contain his excitement when the breakthrough was announced on Radio 4 at six minutes past seven this morning. Add to this the two other potential vaccines, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Covid-19 Winter Plan and Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s comment that life should start to feel normal by next Easter, and Benn says that summer 2021 is “looking incredibly positive.”

After a year in which music festivals were stamped out by the global pandemic, the good news could be the shot in the arm that the industry so desperately needs. It is now “very very very highly likely” that Reading, Leeds, Latitude and Download will go ahead next summer as hoped, Benn says. These festivals alone have a combined audience of 330,000 and give a platform to hundreds of bands. “All of the events for the summer feel like they have just had a weight lifted off them,” says Benn.

 

John Giddings, who runs the Isle of Wight Festival, agrees. He tells me he’s “75 to 80 per cent confident” that his festival will go ahead next June. “We’re planning as if it’s going to happen,” he says. Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Lionel Ritchie and Lewis Capaldi are among those lined up to perform. “They’re all gagging to play. They’re desperate. We’ve sold over 40,000 tickets,” says Giddings.

 

And this morning Glastonbury Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis raised hopes that her Somerset shindig would go ahead too. Eavis posted a picture on Instagram of what she called a “dreamy sunrise”. She added: “And great news on the vaccine too! Hope for us all…” No official comment on Glastonbury’s status is expected until the new year, though.

But all this hope has substance. The Prime Minister’s Winter Plan highlighted the partial return of “live performances” depending on which Tier areas are in. Under Johnson’s new plans, live performances in Tier 1 areas – that’s areas where the Covid risk is classed as Medium – are limited to 50 per cent capacity of a venue or 4,000 people outdoors and 1,000 people indoors (whichever is lower). In Tier 2 (High risk) areas, numbers are limited to 50 per cent capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors (whichever is lower). And in Tier 3 areas (Very High risk), normal events are not permitted although drive-in concerts are.

These measures may sound restrictive. But given where the arts sector has been for most of the year, they represent a leap towards freedom. Addressing the nation as he outlined his plan, Johnson said that an “escape route is in sight”. Festival promoters will be hoping that by the time the clocks go forward next March, the escape tunnel will be behind them and they’ll be charging towards the sunlit uplands.

To some, festivals might stand for little more than music played in a field to hordes of refreshed hedonists. But Britain’s live music sector is worth £1.1 billion a year to the economy and employs tens of thousands of people. Many of these people haven’t worked this year or have been forced to find alternative employment. Try telling them that none of this matters. There’s also the impact on wider economies to consider: the Isle of Wight Festival brings £10 million of extra business to the island’s economy every year, while Glastonbury generates £100 million a year to local businesses and charities.

But even though festivals are likely to return in 2021, the process of going to one will feel different. It would be impossible to enforce social distancing at a festival, so testing will become a big part of the mix. Organisers believe there will be a requirement for festivalgoers to prove that they don’t have Covid or are immune before entering the site. This means that as well as packing their wellies and hosing down their tent before heading off to a festival, people will have to self-test or have a vaccine jab. This could add to the cost, which may potentially put people off. “If the cost is a fiver [to self-test] people won’t care. If it’s £100 people will care,” says Giddings. An extra cost will also hit organisers in the form of testing facilities on site

There is also the issue of enforceability at the festival gates. If someone turns up without evidence of a negative test or a vaccine, will organisers be legally obliged to send them home? And will the ticket-holder be entitled to compensation?

There are ways around this. Ticket seller Ticketmaster is considering asking fans to verify that they’ve been vaccinated or are Covid-free prior to digital tickets being issued. A similar system of digital ‘vaccine passports’ for UK festivals would pre-empt the need for this issue to be dealt with at festival site itself. But it is logistically tricky and will no doubt have ‘Big Brother’ implications to many. Ticketmaster was swift to stress that its plan was only a “potential possibility” after an online backlash from the likes of 1990s pop group Right Said Fred, who said on Twitter: “Here it is, vaccines will be mandatory in all but name.” But it is highly likely that festivals will have to adopt similar measures. Benn says it’s “almost inevitable” that some form of digital health passport will be required next summer. Rarely will going to a rock ‘n’ roll show feel so un-rock ‘n’ roll. But needs must.

On the plus side, festivals are likely to be more hygienic next summer, with toilet facilities cleaned more regularly. And Benn says they will almost certainly be cash-free events as card payments are less likely to spread the virus than thousands of notes and coins circulating around.

But there is one outstanding issue that could yank the guitar lead from the amp before the first power chord is even played. And that’s insurance.

Throughout the Covid crisis, concert promoters have been unable to get pandemic cover in their insurance policies. This means that they can’t claim compensation if they’re forced to cancel due to Covid-19. And few promoters are likely to press ahead with a festival and all its associated costs if they’re not covered by insurance.

With the issue of vaccination looking like it’s covered, Benn says that insurance is now “the single most important factor” in whether festivals will go ahead or not. Given the vaccination news, he says that insurance companies may soften their stance and start offering some form of pandemic cover as the chances of huge pay-outs are reduced. Or he says that the government could step forward and underwrite live events with a special Covid cancellation clause.

He hopes that the government will look at this issue after Christmas when they have “more headspace to consider peripheral considerations as opposed to core considerations” related to Covid. He believes that this state-backed underwriting is the more realistic option because insurance company’s premiums, if they’re offered, are likely to be prohibitively expensive.

Giddings agrees that the issue of insurance is “very serious” (he doesn’t have any Covid cancellation cover for next year either). “If it all gets cancelled and we’ve committed to a lot of costs, we’re screwed,” he says. How would that play out? “Er, we’ll go bust,” he says, before qualifying his comment. “Listen, I don’t know. It’s all a juggle isn’t it? It’s all an absolute juggle. This is what it boils down to. I can’t predict that [next year’s festival] is definitely going to happen – I am quietly confident it is going to happen – and if it doesn’t happen, I know we don’t have insurance against a pandemic so all bets are off then. It’s a question of what costs we’re committed to, isn’t it?”

His last comment is key. It means that timing is currently a huge play in organisers’ considerations. Commit too much money too soon, and that money may be lost if festivals don’t happen and insurance, in whatever form, is not forthcoming. But hold back too long, and promoters will be scrambling to put on the show in time should it go ahead.

 

Festivals sites take time to build: construction of the Isle of Wight site is due to start at the end of May while construction of the far bigger Glastonbury site is scheduled to commence in March. Meanwhile physical infrastructure (stages, lighting and temporary roads) and personnel (construction workers, catering, security) need to be booked months prior to the build beginning. Next summer may seem like a long way off, but the moment is fast approaching for festivals to decide whether to commit or not. The “juggle” that Giddings talks about is frighteningly real. Back in March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised to do “whatever it takes” to support businesses through the pandemic. Festival organisers will be on tenterhooks to see if he’s as good as his word almost a year on.

 

But just as festival organisers are having to weigh up the balance of risk and hassle, so are music fans. If festivals go ahead, people’s attendance will all boil down to how much value they put on that feeling of standing in a field with friends listening to live music. Are those hoops worth jumping through? Does the joy of being there trump the inconvenience of getting there? Is the juice worth the squeeze?

 

Unsurprisingly, Giddings says people are “desperate to get out there and enjoy themselves”. When the Isle of Wight Festival announced its cancellation last summer, fewer than five per cent of ticketholders asked for their money back. They simply held on to their tickets for next year.

 

“There’s nothing better than music in the open air and enjoying it. The thing about a festival is that you can speak to anyone. It’s not like a football match where you speak to someone and you might get beaten up because they support the other team,” says Giddings. You can sense his mixture of hope and excitement that next year happens. “A few tunes in a field. Sharing the experience of music can’t be beaten.”

 

We’ll know over the coming months whether the bands really will play on or not.

 

 

 

 

Thankyou :) 

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4 minutes ago, jparx said:

Very interesting and obviously positive. Personally I still just don’t see testing being a part of attending festivals. I think we will reach a point where the vulnerable have been vaccinated, and the rest of us will just wait our turn and may well end up catching it at in the meantime. I might be wrong though.

They also reference the ticketmaster thing re: vaccination but I thought that been debunked?

Unless there is a quick and cheap test, I dont see how testing is feasible. But if most people are vaccinated, I dont see the need by June anyway 

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Just now, zahidf said:

Unless there is a quick and cheap test, I dont see how testing is feasible. But if most people are vaccinated, I dont see the need by June anyway 

Yeah that’s the key. If, say, 50,000 people there have been vaccinated, plus people who may well have had it and have antibodies, the chance of someone taking it there AND spreading it about would be pretty low.

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1 hour ago, Leyrulion said:

Melvin Benn is a happy man. “It feels to me like we’ve just won the lottery,” says the man behind the Reading and Leeds, Latitude and Download music festivals.

The music industry veteran is reacting to today’s news that Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine has been proven to be up to 90 per cent effective. The boss of Festival Republic says he could barely contain his excitement when the breakthrough was announced on Radio 4 at six minutes past seven this morning. Add to this the two other potential vaccines, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Covid-19 Winter Plan and Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s comment that life should start to feel normal by next Easter, and Benn says that summer 2021 is “looking incredibly positive.”

After a year in which music festivals were stamped out by the global pandemic, the good news could be the shot in the arm that the industry so desperately needs. It is now “very very very highly likely” that Reading, Leeds, Latitude and Download will go ahead next summer as hoped, Benn says. These festivals alone have a combined audience of 330,000 and give a platform to hundreds of bands. “All of the events for the summer feel like they have just had a weight lifted off them,” says Benn.

 

John Giddings, who runs the Isle of Wight Festival, agrees. He tells me he’s “75 to 80 per cent confident” that his festival will go ahead next June. “We’re planning as if it’s going to happen,” he says. Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Lionel Ritchie and Lewis Capaldi are among those lined up to perform. “They’re all gagging to play. They’re desperate. We’ve sold over 40,000 tickets,” says Giddings.

 

And this morning Glastonbury Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis raised hopes that her Somerset shindig would go ahead too. Eavis posted a picture on Instagram of what she called a “dreamy sunrise”. She added: “And great news on the vaccine too! Hope for us all…” No official comment on Glastonbury’s status is expected until the new year, though.

But all this hope has substance. The Prime Minister’s Winter Plan highlighted the partial return of “live performances” depending on which Tier areas are in. Under Johnson’s new plans, live performances in Tier 1 areas – that’s areas where the Covid risk is classed as Medium – are limited to 50 per cent capacity of a venue or 4,000 people outdoors and 1,000 people indoors (whichever is lower). In Tier 2 (High risk) areas, numbers are limited to 50 per cent capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors (whichever is lower). And in Tier 3 areas (Very High risk), normal events are not permitted although drive-in concerts are.

These measures may sound restrictive. But given where the arts sector has been for most of the year, they represent a leap towards freedom. Addressing the nation as he outlined his plan, Johnson said that an “escape route is in sight”. Festival promoters will be hoping that by the time the clocks go forward next March, the escape tunnel will be behind them and they’ll be charging towards the sunlit uplands.

To some, festivals might stand for little more than music played in a field to hordes of refreshed hedonists. But Britain’s live music sector is worth £1.1 billion a year to the economy and employs tens of thousands of people. Many of these people haven’t worked this year or have been forced to find alternative employment. Try telling them that none of this matters. There’s also the impact on wider economies to consider: the Isle of Wight Festival brings £10 million of extra business to the island’s economy every year, while Glastonbury generates £100 million a year to local businesses and charities.

But even though festivals are likely to return in 2021, the process of going to one will feel different. It would be impossible to enforce social distancing at a festival, so testing will become a big part of the mix. Organisers believe there will be a requirement for festivalgoers to prove that they don’t have Covid or are immune before entering the site. This means that as well as packing their wellies and hosing down their tent before heading off to a festival, people will have to self-test or have a vaccine jab. This could add to the cost, which may potentially put people off. “If the cost is a fiver [to self-test] people won’t care. If it’s £100 people will care,” says Giddings. An extra cost will also hit organisers in the form of testing facilities on site

There is also the issue of enforceability at the festival gates. If someone turns up without evidence of a negative test or a vaccine, will organisers be legally obliged to send them home? And will the ticket-holder be entitled to compensation?

There are ways around this. Ticket seller Ticketmaster is considering asking fans to verify that they’ve been vaccinated or are Covid-free prior to digital tickets being issued. A similar system of digital ‘vaccine passports’ for UK festivals would pre-empt the need for this issue to be dealt with at festival site itself. But it is logistically tricky and will no doubt have ‘Big Brother’ implications to many. Ticketmaster was swift to stress that its plan was only a “potential possibility” after an online backlash from the likes of 1990s pop group Right Said Fred, who said on Twitter: “Here it is, vaccines will be mandatory in all but name.” But it is highly likely that festivals will have to adopt similar measures. Benn says it’s “almost inevitable” that some form of digital health passport will be required next summer. Rarely will going to a rock ‘n’ roll show feel so un-rock ‘n’ roll. But needs must.

On the plus side, festivals are likely to be more hygienic next summer, with toilet facilities cleaned more regularly. And Benn says they will almost certainly be cash-free events as card payments are less likely to spread the virus than thousands of notes and coins circulating around.

But there is one outstanding issue that could yank the guitar lead from the amp before the first power chord is even played. And that’s insurance.

Throughout the Covid crisis, concert promoters have been unable to get pandemic cover in their insurance policies. This means that they can’t claim compensation if they’re forced to cancel due to Covid-19. And few promoters are likely to press ahead with a festival and all its associated costs if they’re not covered by insurance.

With the issue of vaccination looking like it’s covered, Benn says that insurance is now “the single most important factor” in whether festivals will go ahead or not. Given the vaccination news, he says that insurance companies may soften their stance and start offering some form of pandemic cover as the chances of huge pay-outs are reduced. Or he says that the government could step forward and underwrite live events with a special Covid cancellation clause.

He hopes that the government will look at this issue after Christmas when they have “more headspace to consider peripheral considerations as opposed to core considerations” related to Covid. He believes that this state-backed underwriting is the more realistic option because insurance company’s premiums, if they’re offered, are likely to be prohibitively expensive.

Giddings agrees that the issue of insurance is “very serious” (he doesn’t have any Covid cancellation cover for next year either). “If it all gets cancelled and we’ve committed to a lot of costs, we’re screwed,” he says. How would that play out? “Er, we’ll go bust,” he says, before qualifying his comment. “Listen, I don’t know. It’s all a juggle isn’t it? It’s all an absolute juggle. This is what it boils down to. I can’t predict that [next year’s festival] is definitely going to happen – I am quietly confident it is going to happen – and if it doesn’t happen, I know we don’t have insurance against a pandemic so all bets are off then. It’s a question of what costs we’re committed to, isn’t it?”

His last comment is key. It means that timing is currently a huge play in organisers’ considerations. Commit too much money too soon, and that money may be lost if festivals don’t happen and insurance, in whatever form, is not forthcoming. But hold back too long, and promoters will be scrambling to put on the show in time should it go ahead.

 

Festivals sites take time to build: construction of the Isle of Wight site is due to start at the end of May while construction of the far bigger Glastonbury site is scheduled to commence in March. Meanwhile physical infrastructure (stages, lighting and temporary roads) and personnel (construction workers, catering, security) need to be booked months prior to the build beginning. Next summer may seem like a long way off, but the moment is fast approaching for festivals to decide whether to commit or not. The “juggle” that Giddings talks about is frighteningly real. Back in March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised to do “whatever it takes” to support businesses through the pandemic. Festival organisers will be on tenterhooks to see if he’s as good as his word almost a year on.

 

But just as festival organisers are having to weigh up the balance of risk and hassle, so are music fans. If festivals go ahead, people’s attendance will all boil down to how much value they put on that feeling of standing in a field with friends listening to live music. Are those hoops worth jumping through? Does the joy of being there trump the inconvenience of getting there? Is the juice worth the squeeze?

 

Unsurprisingly, Giddings says people are “desperate to get out there and enjoy themselves”. When the Isle of Wight Festival announced its cancellation last summer, fewer than five per cent of ticketholders asked for their money back. They simply held on to their tickets for next year.

 

“There’s nothing better than music in the open air and enjoying it. The thing about a festival is that you can speak to anyone. It’s not like a football match where you speak to someone and you might get beaten up because they support the other team,” says Giddings. You can sense his mixture of hope and excitement that next year happens. “A few tunes in a field. Sharing the experience of music can’t be beaten.”

 

We’ll know over the coming months whether the bands really will play on or not.

 

 

 

 

Cheers , your a legend 🙂

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3 hours ago, shoptildrop said:

I'm not convinced with festivals going ahead especially one as large as Glastonbury...

I hope the vaccine roll out timeline works out but I'm not sure it will, plus you have all the internationals whether that be customers, workers or acts to contend with

Then we have the anti vaxers and nervous folk that vaccine has been rushed who won't get the jab

Obviously festivals can't be the socially distanced affairs they are looking to implement with sports at no either IMO.

So you have alot of people mixing from all over of which maybe a 3rd have been vaccinated (total guess)... it just seems very high risk to me

Don't think my gigs in Feb and March will be happening either :(

I'm so conflicted I want them to happen but I can see safely how they can

I don’t think any festival would cancel on the basis of international customers not being able to come. As sad as it would be for them, it wouldn’t be a reason to cancel.

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Testing starting next fortnight for me (nhs). Twice a week at home. 30 minutes result. If positive go for a full test. If that is negative carry on as negative. So testing could easily be put in place for people to do from home before a festival. What is done with that information to prove youre negative pr whatever is the bigger challenge i guess.

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Coming back to this forum for the first time in ages... I can't see Glasto going ahead even with vaccine news. Too many of the attendees, artists, and crew are not UK residents so I'm not sure they'd be able to really put it on without allowing international visitors. I do have a bias though, as I am Canadian... but without American acts or stagehands, I'm not sure Glastonbury will go ahead. I feel like things won't be better for festivals until the whole world is better off.

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4 minutes ago, TownesMR said:

but without American acts or stagehands, I'm not sure Glastonbury will go ahead.

In case you haven’t noticed, Glastonbury has been going for 50 years and there’s quite a lot of talent and experience both in the performing part and the stage management part in this country to run a festival of this size without a single American (or Canadian) being necessary. 
 

American acts will add to the variety but they are far from essential. 

Edited by squirrelarmy
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14 minutes ago, TownesMR said:

Coming back to this forum for the first time in ages... I can't see Glasto going ahead even with vaccine news. Too many of the attendees, artists, and crew are not UK residents so I'm not sure they'd be able to really put it on without allowing international visitors. I do have a bias though, as I am Canadian... but without American acts or stagehands, I'm not sure Glastonbury will go ahead. I feel like things won't be better for festivals until the whole world is better off.

Welcome back........I think.

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1 minute ago, Chrisp1986 said:

Welcome back........I think.

Thanks! Sorry if my comment seemed a bit negative, it just always feels like a whole cycle of the same old things are said in this forum. I meant to add that acts, including UK artists, only tour when it's profitable for them to do so. I'm not sure Glasto would be able to go ahead even if things were alright in the UK because it would require artists to have touring schedules that make it profitable for them. That would require all other festivals and venues to also have everything be flawless with no cracks. 

Trust me, there's nothing more that I want than concerts to be back next summer, but it just feels so distant at this point.

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3 minutes ago, zahidf said:

Tbh there are so many Uk acts desperate to playive after this year that im not too worried about their being enough acts for the festival

Yep it’s a non issue. They will be desperate for it and Giddings says as much in that interview above. 

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I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone with this. There are definitely reasons to think it may not happen, but most of the reasons being cited here are actively being contradicted by information we know. We genuinely have quite a few reasons now to be legitimately optimistic. I think if you’re  actively thinking it won’t happen, you’re honestly being overly pessimistic at this stage and not fully digesting the latest info. There’s literally an interview posted above with promoters saying they’re confident for it.

I don’t want to shout down people with legit concerns, but equally taking everything in to account right now the signs are clearly more positive than negative. I’ve not read anything other than “vaccine rollout might go tits up” that seems a legitimate reason it won’t happen.

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2 hours ago, TownesMR said:

without American... stagehands, I'm not sure Glastonbury will go ahead

Are that many of the crew from overseas?

What are the specialisms we need to bring in from elsewhere?

Not that Glastonbury wouldn't bring in international contractors but I struggle to think of a service they'd provide that couldn't be replicated from UK/Ireland/rest of Europe

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