Glastonbury may not be going ahead, but Reading and Leeds festivals say it’s full steam ahead in summer 2021
The Reading and Leeds music festivals will be going ahead in late August of 2021, organisers have confirmed.
Stormzy, Post Malone and Liam Gallagher are some of the confirmed acts to headline the twin festivals, which will run on the August Bank Holiday weekend from the 27th to the 29th of August.
It follows the recent publication of England’s roadmap out of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, which says that the UK government plans to remove all legal limits on social contact by the 21st of June.
This comes after rapid testing for COVID-19 could enable nightclubs and theatres in the UK to reopen, the Prime Minister has suggested. Boris Johnson has said that rapid testing using lateral flow COVID-19 tests could be used by “those parts of the economy we couldn’t get open last year”.
In a post on the Reading and Leeds festivals’ official Twitter page, organisers had said: “Following the government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer. LET’S GO.”
They also shared a short video-clip showing festival-goers in previous years, enjoying fairground rides and gathered in large crowds dancing to the music.
Bosses have yet to confirm detailed plans for the events, or to what extent social distancing measures will figure in the organisation of performances.
The last time the festivals took place was in 2019 – with a capacity of over 100,000 people per day at the Reading site and tickets selling out a month before the event.
The festivals had an enforced fallow year in 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Although confirmation of the 2021 event has only just come, tickets have been on sale since last summer.
Other big acts at the three-day event include Catfish and the Bottlemen, Disclosure and Queens of the Stone Age.
In January, Europe’s largest live music event – Glastonbury – was cancelled for the second year running.
Organisers Michael and Emily Eavis said despite “efforts to move Heaven & Earth”, the 2021 festival at Worthy Farm would not go ahead, and tickets would again roll over to the following year.
This come after airlines have said that they have already seen a surge in holiday bookings following the PM’s announcement of the road map out of the nationwide lockdown. On Holiday bookings, the Prime Minister has said that a global travel taskforce would put forward a report on how to return to international travel on the 12th of April.
Outdoor large performances with a maximum of 4,000 people will be allowed from the 17th of May as part of Step Three of the roadmap.
And while the government plans to lift social distancing measures by the 21st of June, many festivals have said they need assurance much sooner.
The route out of lockdown will be dependent on coronavirus cases, deaths and hospital admissions continuing to fall, and a week’s notice will be given before full confirmation of each step.
Festivals which take place ahead of the 21st of June including Isle of Wight and Download are yet to confirm whether they will be going ahead.
Speaking ahead of the Reading and Leeds announcement, Chief executive of the Association of Independent Festivals Paul Reed told Sky News: “We need urgent intervention on insurance. We’re very appreciative to have a ‘no earlier than date’. But if festivals are to go ahead, we need that intervention before the end of March.
“If that doesn’t happen, unfortunately, you’re not going to see much of the festival sector this year and [it] will therefore need support until when we’re able to return beyond this.”