UK’s Glastonbury cancelled again because of Covid-19

Festival goers watch British singer Tom Odell perform on the Pyramid Stage during Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, Britain June 28, 2019. — Reuters pic
Festival goers watch British singer Tom Odell perform on the Pyramid Stage during Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, Britain June 28, 2019. — Reuters pic

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LONDON, Jan 22 — Britain’s Glastonbury Festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic, the organisers of the blockbuster music event said yesterday.

“With great regret, we must announce that this year’s Glastonbury Festival will not take place, and that this will be another enforced fallow year for us,” organisers Michael and Emily Eavis said in a statement on Twitter.

“In spite of our efforts to move heaven & earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the festival happen this year,” the father and daughter duo added.

Glastonbury Festival, held on a dairy farm in southwest England, was forced to cancel in 2020 — the year of the event’s 50th anniversary — because of coronavirus restrictions after some 135,000 people had bought tickets.

Headliners included pop superstar Taylor Swift and Beatles icon Paul McCartney.

This year’s cancellation follows warnings earlier this month from the music sector that the coronavirus has devastated the industry, and annual summer festivals could disappear for good without more government support.

UK Music, an umbrella organisation for the £5.8 billion (RM32.1 billion) industry, has held up Glastonbury as an example of the economic impact left by cancelled events. 

The festival normally generates over £100 million for the surrounding area, the industry body has said.  

Music festivals as a whole normally employ 85,000 people directly each year.

Britain — one of the countries worst affected by the global health crisis, with over 93,000 deaths — has seen its music industry hit hard by the pandemic.

Deposits for tickets can be rolled over to 2022.

“We are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022,” the Eavises said.

“We thank you for your incredible continued support and let’s look forward to better times ahead.” — AFP

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