The festival season is closing in…. or so we hope. With the prospect of a government-backed insurance scheme shortening by the minute, UK festival organisers face tough immediate decisions as to whether to postpone or go ahead with the knowledge that their outlays would not be recovered in the event of a last-minute cancellation; an eight-figure sum in Boomtown’s case. Glastonbury has gone, The Great Escape has gone, and now Boomtown has fallen. For many young people, myself included, the uncertainty surrounding festivals is a dampener on the rebound we expect to see in the live and hospitality sectors over the coming months.
The Culture Recovery Fund has provided one stage of support from the Government, but as last year told us, the nighttime industries need much, much more. 20 grassroots music venues remain on the red list in the #SaveOurVenues campaign. This means they are facing immediate closure and have, up until now, relied on the generosity of those in the local, and wider music communities. This is a testament in itself to the importance of live music to people, and the festivals and venues that make this happen.
For the festivals that are planning on going ahead, COVID ‘passports’ remain a distinct possibility. People will have to produce either a vaccination certificate or a negative test to permit entry into the site under these circumstances. The pilot event rolling out in Liverpool next month, the aptly named Sefton Park Pilot, where social distancing and face coverings will not be made mandatory, will provide further indications of the government’s forthcoming stance on opening up the festival scene, as planned, in June. Only time will tell as to how this will all pan out, but sell-outs at End of the Road, Junction 2, and Defected London prove that people cannot wait to get back out there.
For those risk-takers out there, take a punt on one of these festivals still going ahead:
Gala – Peckham Rye Park – 31st July-1st August 2021
South Facing – Crystal Palace Park – 5th-29th August 2021
All Points East – Victoria Park – 27-30th August 2021
Yam Carnival – Clapham Common – 28th August 2021
Field Day – Victoria Park – 29th August 2021
Wide Awake – Brockwell Park – 3rd September 2021
Waterworks – Gunnersbury Park – 25th September 2021
See you in the fields.