U.K. Music Festivals Cautiously Rumble Back to Life

Jem Aswad
·2-min read

In the wake of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement last month that mass-gatherings can begin a cautious return this summer, the London music festival All Points East has announced more performers for its 2021 edition — scheduled for August 27-30 in Victoria Park — and the country’s largest festival, Glastonbury, is moving ahead with plans for a scaled-down event in September.

Joining previously announced All Points East headliners Jamie xx, Kano, and Slowthai are Foals, Bombay Bicycle Club, Tune-Yards, and Caribou.

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“We are delighted to announce our lineup for Bank Holiday Monday,” Jim King, CEO of European Festivals at AEG Presents, said in a statement. “There are fantastic artists lined up on Monday and we’re incredibly excited for what will be a truly special closing day for our 2021 festival weekend at Victoria Park. We look forward to seeing you all there.”

Meanwhile, Glastonbury moved ahead with plans for boss Emily Eavis explained that a concert could take place during the same dates that are traditionally used for the Pilton Party – Worthy Farm’s annual event to thank Somerset locals for supporting Glastonbury.

Meanwhile, SomersetLive and NME report that Glastonbury has submitted an application to Mendip District Council for permission to hold a two-day event in September at the site where a large party is usually help to thank locals for supporting the festival. The application seeks permission to stage live music and sell alcohol for nine hours a day at a “single event” across a Friday and Saturday, although not camping. Glastonbury chief Emily Eavis announced plans for the event last week.

“We wanted to get the application in to be in with a chance,” Eavis posted on Instagram. “Unlikely we’ll have any news for a couple of months – but will let you know right here when we do.”

Glastonbury officially canceled its traditional June event for the second consecutive year in January. But in Feburary, after the British government set a timeline that states large music events in the U.K. can resume at 100% capacity beginning on June 21, Live Nation put up 100,000 tickets for the Reading & Leeds festivals, scheduled for August 27 and 29 — all of which sold out by late in the week. The company also put up tickets for the dance-music-based Creamfields event, taking place August 26 to 29, on sale this week as well, announcing that the event has sold out 70,000 tickets in 48 hours, “record-breaking time.” Other events soon followed suit.

During Live Nation’s earnings call last month, CEO Michael Rapino said if all goes according to plan, outdoor and smaller indoor concerts could return in earnest by late summer, although many acts are already touring actively in the Southern states, where Covid restrictions are less stringent.

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