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U.K. GOV'T ASKS: WHAT WILL HELP FESTIVALS RETURN?

The U.K. government is studying the level of support required for British music festivals to return in 2021. Written submissions are due by 12/9.

“We want to hear from festival staff as they face huge pressures, fans who’ve missed out, as well as musicians on the contribution that festivals make to our culture and economy,” DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said. “It’s crucial that support to enable music festivals to go ahead in 2021 and beyond is put in place. We’ll be assessing what’s been done so far and what more needs to be done to safeguard the future of festivals.”

The inquiry will consider what type of government policy would support music festivals. Festivals can take place only if they are COVID-19-secure and comply with all relevant legislation; social distancing requirements will determine the financial and logistical viability of an event.

There are also questions about how audiences will respond to a socially distanced festival experience and the uncertainty of the public health situation and legal requirements next summer. 

As of now, a number of events are planning a return next year—Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, Wireless, Latitude and Green Man among them. The recently announced news of a vaccine is likely to have an impact on the rules they are required to operate under. In the U.K., the National Health Service intends to vaccinate all adults in England at mass vaccination centers, with the aim of treating at least 2,000 people per day beginning in early 2021. 

“We have so many legendary festivals that have given the U.K. a worldwide reputation,” Knight said. “It would be devastating if they were unable to come back with a bang or if smaller festivals that underpin the talent pipeline disappear entirely.”

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