Glastonbury 2021 canceled due to coronavirus pandemic
Glastonbury 2021 is officially canceled, the festival’s organizers have announced.
Michael and Emily Eavis confirmed that the 2021 festival will not go ahead, saying they would be having another
‘enforced fallow year’.
A statement read: ‘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. ‘Despite our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has
become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all
The event will not be rescheduled for this year. Information for ticket holders is available on the festival’s
website. “We are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022!” the Eavises said.
The decision came down to the wire: on 4 January, Emily Eavis said there was no news and that the event wasn’t
canceled, denying claims made by Spice Girl Mel B on BBC Radio 5 Live that it had been.
Paul Reed, chair of the Association of Independent Festivals (of which Glastonbury is not a member), wasn’t
surprised by the decision to cancel, which could have mixed ramifications for the rest of the British festival
You have to consider its global and cultural significance – it’s the largest green-field festival in the
world, and it could set the tone in terms of public confidence for festivals going ahead this year.”
However, Reed stressed that Glastonbury’s size – with a capacity of 210,000 – made it an outlier. “There are 975
festivals in the UK and though some of the larger events will be making decisions this month as to whether they
go ahead, for many of the smaller ones the cut-off will be later.”
A recent AIF survey said that the average “go or no-go” decision date for its smaller festivals was the end of
March. It takes a minimum of six to eight months to stage a festival, said Reed. “And anything between £500,000
to plan a 5000-capacity festival to £12m for a 70,000-capacity festival, which is why we’ve been asking the
government to intervene on government-backed insurance and give us some sense of a timeframe on
reopening.” UK festival organizers have said they face cancellation and possible financial ruin if the government
does not institute an insurance scheme to protect them from bankruptcy in the event of cancellation owing to
the pandemic, similar to a scheme that has kept TV and film productions in business.
Sign up for the Sleeve Notes email: music news, bold reviews, and unexpected extras
Reed concluded that it was too soon to tell whether the festival season “is on or off”. A second year of
cancellations left many at “the real risk of not returning,” he said.
A smaller festival season was “inevitable” in 2021, Anna Wade, director of communications and strategy for
Hampshire’s Boomtown told a recent parliamentary inquiry into the future of festivals after the pandemic.