Glastonbury Festival organiser Emily Eavis has said that “the next few weeks are going to be crucial” in determining whether the 2021 edition of the festival can go ahead.
Speaking to the BBC, Eavis said that organisers are “doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare,” but due to the ever-changing nature of the virus response and guidelines, she also said that she things “we’re still quite a long way from being able to say we’re confident 2021 will go ahead” – despite the
Glastonbury 2020 was set to be the festival’s 50th anniversary, but back in March, it was one of the first of the British festival season to announce cancellation due to COVID-19. One of the main things that drove the cancellation of festivals this year was, alongside the obvious risks of collecting some 200,000 people in a field for a week, was the preparation – which still involves thousands working to make the event happen in the runup.
Starting this process in 2021 could be risky, as Eavis explains: “We’re doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare, but there are still just so many unknowns and factors which are completely out of our control. What we definitely can’t afford to risk is getting too far into the process of next year, only for it to be snatched away from us again. We lost millions this year, and we can’t risk that happening again.”
“The next few weeks are going to be crucial, really. They’ll hopefully give us a much better idea of what is and isn’t going to be possible.”
There’s also been speculation as to the lineup for the 2021 festival, too, providing it goes ahead, mainly surrounding whether the mainstage headliners of Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Paul McCartney will return. Eavis, however, clarified that “it’s much too soon for us to be able to confirm line-up for 2021,” but the organisers are keen for them to return, given the positive response to the choice of headliners.
The UK is currently operating under a Tier System – which the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said will last until at least March. The country is also beginning to roll out Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, following its approval. Rapid-turnaround tests have been posited as another solution to the live music problem during COVID-19, but this is yet to be implemented in something to the scale of a full summer festival.
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