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Glastonbury postponed to 2021 amid coronavirus outbreak

The event was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary.


Glastonbury (Yui Mok/PA)

Glastonbury (Yui Mok/PA)

Glastonbury (Yui Mok/PA)

Glastonbury festival has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers have said.

The music festival, due to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, is among a long list of high-profile events pushed back or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael and Emily Eavis, the event’s organisers, confirmed that tickets for this year would roll over into 2021.

A post on Twitter announced the news, saying: “We are so sorry to announce this, but we are going to have to cancel Glastonbury 2020. Tickets for this year will roll over to next year. Full statement below and on our website. Michael & Emily.”

Their statement said: “Clearly this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new Government measures announced this week – and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty – this is now our only viable option.”

They said the Glastonbury team were “no longer able to spend the next three months with thousands of crew here on the farm, helping us with the enormous job of building the infrastructure and attractions needed to welcome more than 200,000 people to a temporary city in these fields”.

They added: “We understand that it is not always easy to secure a Glastonbury ticket, which is why we would like to offer all those people the chance to roll their £50 deposit over to next year, and guarantee the opportunity to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2021.”

Michael and Emily urged those who like a refund to contact See Tickets in the coming days

They described the cancellation as “a terrible blow to our incredible crew and volunteers” and said there would “inevitably be severe financial implications as a result”.

They concluded: “Again, we’re so sorry to that (sic) this decision has been made. It was not through choice. But we look forward to welcoming you back to these fields next year and until then, we send our love and support to all of you. Michael & Emily.”

Glastonbury, which draws around 200,000 people to farmland in Somerset, was due to take place from June 24-28.

The postponement follows updated guidance from the Government, calling on people to stay away from pubs, clubs and theatres and to avoid all non-essential contacts and travel.

Glastonbury 2020
Sir Paul McCartney (Steve Parsons/PA)

Greenpeace, which alongside Oxfam and WaterAid receives donations from the festival after each event, praised Glastonbury for doing “the responsible thing”.

The charity’s UK executive director John Sauven said: “Like many others in the festival industry, the Glastonbury organisers faced huge uncertainty and some really tough decisions.

“They have done the responsible thing by putting the need to protect people’s health first and we fully support them.

“Our thoughts are with the Glastonbury staff and local community that will be most impacted by the postponement.”

He added: “Michael and Emily Eavis are extraordinarily generous when it comes to supporting local and international charities.

99% of Glastonbury tents taken home
Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm (Aaron Chown/PA)

“We will in return do everything we can to make sure we come roaring back in 2021.”

Oxfam’s director of audience engagement Nicola Tallett added: “We are very sorry to hear this year’s festival is cancelled. But it’s the right thing to do. The health and safety of festival-goers, staff and volunteers – including 2,700 Oxfam volunteers – must be the priority.

“We are very grateful for the very generous support we have received from Michael and Emily Eavis over the last 27 years. It has had a huge impact on the lives of some of the world’s poorest people, including providing clean water and sanitation in places of desperate need.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with Glastonbury and to being back on Worthy Farm next year.”

Last week, US rapper Kendrick Lamar was announced as the third headliner, joining Taylor Swift and Sir Paul McCartney, with Diana Ross due to play the Sunday legend’s slot.

Other music acts on the line-up include Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello and Pet Shop Boys, as well as rockers Sam Fender, Blossoms, Haim and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

The Who, Madonna and Miley Cyrus have cancelled live dates due to the Covid-19 outbreak, while festivals such as Coachella and Stagecoach in the US have been postponed or called off.

In the UK, Radio 1’s Big Weekend is among the other big music events called off by organisers.

The festival, which had Biffy Clyro, Harry Styles and Cabello on the line-up, was due to take place in Dundee from May 22-24.

In Hollywood, Disney announced it was shutting down production on many of its live-action films, including The Little Mermaid, and the studio also delayed the release of a blockbuster remake of Mulan, which had been due to arrive in UK cinemas on March 27.

Other film releases postponed include A Quiet Place II and Fast And Furious 9, as well as the upcoming James Bond movie No Time To Die, which has been pushed back to November, having originally been set to arrive in April.