Future of UK festivals looking ‘grave’ if 2021 sees cancellations (Picture: Getty)
The future of UK music festivals is being thrown into doubt, as organisers are becoming increasingly worried over the 2021 season being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Live music events hosting large crowds have been prohibited in order to control the spread of Covid-19 and with the number of cases continuing to rise across England, there are worries festivals could face the same fate this summer.
If they do, festival founders have stressed that the future looks ‘grave’ for upcoming seasons.
Parklife, that takes place every year in Manchester, has already been booked for September 2021, with more than 250 artists and suppliers already snapped up.
However, the festival’s co-founder Sacha Lord has said there will be ‘serious problems’ if it can’t go ahead.
The pandemic put a halt to Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary festival (Picture: Rex)
Speaking to MPs as part of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s looking into how the government can support festivals this summer, Lord said: ‘If we have got another year like 2020, we have got serious problems.’
Lord insisted that mass testing and vaccinations are ‘the only way forward’ to ensure festivals can take place, as he explained: ‘Social distancing does not work at any of these events. It’s a festival.
‘You just cannot put social distancing in place, so we are anticipating that we will be operating at 100 percent.’
Parklife was cancelled in 2020 (Picture: WireImage)
Boomtown Fair’s communications and strategy director Anna Wade added that music events could end up in ‘absolutely dire straits’ financially if Covid-19 restrictions are still in place by the summer.
‘We were absolutely decimated,’ she said of Boomtown forced to cancel in 2020.
‘We were first to really shut down and will probably be one of the last to re-open as well,’ she added, as she called for the government to provide festivals with financial support.
The latest comments come as Mel B freaked out fans by claiming Glastonbury 2021 was cancelled.
‘I know that Glastonbury’s been cancelled so a lot of big stage performances are kind of are on hold again this year. Which is sad but we’ve got to get this virus under control, I guess,’ Mel said during an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Emily Eavis was quick to shut down Mel’s claims after concerned festival-goers reached out to her on Twitter.
Insisting that the fate of Glastonbury 2021 is still hanging in the balance, Emily tweeted: ‘Nope, no news this end. Will let you know right here as soon as there is news.’