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Glastonbury going ahead amid coronavirus fears ‘would be astounding’

The festival is scheduled to begin on June 24.

(Yui Mok/PA)

It would be “astounding” if Glastonbury went ahead this year amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a music industry expert.

Matt Grimes, senior lecturer in music industries at Birmingham City University, said that it would be a “shame” if the festival had to be cancelled because it is meant to be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

He told the PA news agency: “It would be astounding if Glastonbury did happen.”

Glastonbury Festival 2014 – Day 3
(Matt Crossick/PA)

He added: “People come from all over the world, or would have been coming from all over the world, to see this.

“That is probably not going to happen now because I don’t think countries are going to lift travel bans any time soon.”

He added that music festival organisers need to take “pragmatic decisions” about whether or not to go ahead with events.

The cost of cancelling the festival could be “in the region of £15 million to £20 million”, according to Mr Grimes.

“Not just the festival itself, but all the supply chain that comes out of that,” he said.

Glastonbury is scheduled to begin on June 24, and despite growing fears about the impact of the virus on the UK organisers announced on Friday that Kendrick Lamar would be the festival’s third headliner.

Mr Grimes added that the wider music industry is facing significant challenges as a result of coronavirus because of the number of being who are self-employed or freelance.

“If it starts to collapse on itself, it is an industry that will take decades to recover again because a lot of those people working in that self-employed sector will have to look for jobs elsewhere,” he said.