Glastonbury organisers have made a public plea to the government for more financial help to protect them if next year’s festival is cancelled.
Organiser Emily Eavis and her father Michael Eavis are hoping to welcome the masses to Worthy Farm again in June 2021 after this year’s event – its 50th anniversary – was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Glasto team are making tentative plans for the festival to return next year but, with the health crisis continuing to be uncertain, the Eavis’ are hoping the government can provide insurance.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Emily, 41, said: ‘In a usual planning cycle we would already be well into organising the next festival.
‘The best solution would be for the government to offer … direct financial support in the event of Glastonbury, and other events, being forced to cancel once they’re well into the preparations.’
Calling on Boris Johnson’s cabinet to take action, Emily continued: ‘If the government can share the risk by offering direct financial support, then it gives everyone the opportunity to move forward with the planning in the hope that things will be safe to run in the summer, and in the knowledge that backing is available if we’re simply not in a position to go ahead.’
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport responded: ‘We know these are challenging times for the live events sector and are working flat out to support it.
‘We have invested £1bn so far through the culture recovery fund to protect tens of thousands of creative jobs … with £400m more support still to come.’
It comes after Michael, 85, said ‘there could be massive testing arrangements’ at next year’s Glasto.
He told GlastoFestFeed: ‘Do we want to test 200,000 people, three times – when they leave their home; when they’re halfway here; and when they get to the gate – so that we’re clear of Covid?’
In August, Emily assured fans that the festival is not yet being pushed back to September 2021.
‘For those who have been asking, we have no plans to move next year’s Glastonbury to September 2021 – we’re still very much aiming for June,’ she said.
‘Also, we’ve moved our ticket resale back from October to April, because so few people have asked for a refund (next year’s Festival remains sold out), meaning we don’t have enough tickets to resell. Plus, we’ve extended the free cancellation deadline until the end of January.’
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