Well that was a quick and decisive about face. Glastonbury this morning announced they were going to cancel the 2020 edition due to Coronavirus COVID-19. The festival had announced their lineup just last week.
The decision was announced in a statement this morning, acknowledging the situation and the challenges that go into putting on a massive festival in a time of social distancing, future uncertainty and a ban on large gatherings.
“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,” say the festival.
“We very much hope that the situation in the UK will have improved enormously by the end of June. But even if it has, we are 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.”
The festival was set to host names like Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Diana Ross and take place June 24-28. The statement also goes into refunds information for ticket buyers. The 50th edition will be pushed to 2021.
In the festival calendar there are few bellwethers like Glastonbury. It is the start of he British festival season, so if it can go down, like Coachella, there are no safe festivals at this point. The curve is not being flattened worldwide, so be ready for things to get much worse.