The cancellation of Glastonbury sent a shudder though the music scene but does it mean that all festivals will go down like a pack of cards?
Paul Reed, the head of the Association of Independent Festivals feels that smaller events can still happen. The size of Glastonbury and its tighter January deadline and its international acts and travel problems all made it too difficult to put on for 2021.
Other festivals remain optimistic, though, that they can still go ahead with their events on later in the year like New Order and Parklife in Manchester in the September and Rebellion punk festival in Blackpool in August. Later in the year and their smaller scale compared to Glastonbury makes their logistics easier. Could we be looking at controlled more boutique events in the late summer and bigger events into the autumn?
There are still so many factors at play and it’s still a risky ongoing situation…
The plus side is the vaccines are making a dent and the downside is that we are still in a very bad period for the pandemic.
Indoor events will probably need a drastic rethink and larger gatherings of people will be tricky but not impossible. International travel will not be easy if at all possible all year with different countries having different levels of vaccination and new variants of the virus cropping up around the world.
There is also no guarantee that the UK lockdown will have been ended by the summer…it’s still a very difficult situation and promoters will have to hold their nerve in a very fast moving situation but power to anyone trying to make anything happen in whatever form possible.
Another key factor is, that unlike many other countries, the insurance situation in the UK means that festivals are struggling to get cover for their events – hopefully this will change…we need innovative out of the box thinking…