Wireless and Latitude festivals are also expected to go ahead this summer as long as the Government lifts
Festival Republic has cancellation insurance for both, which are due to take place on July 2 to 4 in
Camp Bestival organiser Rob da Bank also confirmed today that the family friendly festival at Lulworth Castle in Dorset is still due to take place from July 29 to August 1.
Wildnerness has also confirmed it will go ahead in Oxfordshire from August 5 to 8, saying on Twitter: ‘The sweetest moments are worth waiting for, we’ve missed you.’
And Creamfields confirmed it will be happening in Cheshire from August 26 to 29, in a tweet saying: ‘We’re gearing up to welcome you all to THE party of the summer.’
This leaves BST Hyde Park, due to take place in London from July 9 to 10, as the only planned major festival in England yet to confirm it is still set to happen this summer.
It comes after Festival Republic’s managing director said he is ‘very confident’ that its biggest festival Reading and Leeds will go ahead as planned on August 27 to 29.
Melvin Benn said crowds attending the events are likely to be asked to show an
He said he was confident in projections that everyone will have received a first jab by June 21 and a second by August 9, three weeks in advance of Reading and Leeds.
The announcement on Reading and Leeds has given the festival industry a major boost, sparking hopes that other outdoor shows will now go ahead this summer.
It follows Glastonbury – due to have been on June 23 to 27 – being cancelled for a second year in a row after organisers said they had tried to ‘move heaven and earth’.
Da Bank said: ‘There is literally nothing (my wife) Josie and I like more in life than standing in a field surrounded by family and friends, dressed in daft outfits dancing to amazing bands and DJs and Mr Tumble. That’s exactly what we plan to be doing at Camp Bestival in 154 days, 15 minutes and 27 minutes… not that we’re counting.’
Melvin Benn is the managing director of Festival Republic which organises Reading and Leeds
Music fans at Leeds Festival at Bramham Park after watching Post Malone in August 2018
The festival is set to take place at Little John’s Farm in Reading and Bramham Park in Leeds
This year’s Reading and Leeds line-up includes Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and Lewis Capaldi, with organisers working with the Government to ensure it can happen.
Mr Benn told Radio 4’s PM programme: ‘The one thing that we can say about the Prime Minister is that in terms of the vaccination rollout, almost unique in the world, he has got it right.
Which events are set to go ahead this summer in Britain with no Covid restrictions?
- Euro 2021 latter stages (June 21 to July 11)
- Stonehenge summer solstice (June 21)
- Wimbledon (June 28 to July 11)
- Wireless (July 2 to 4)
- BST Hyde Park (July 9 to 10)
- The Open, Royal St George’s (July 11 to 18)
- F1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone (July 16 to 18)
- Latitude (July 22 to 25)
- Glorious Goodwood Festival (July 27 to 31)
- Camp Bestival (July 29 to August 1)
- Wildnerness (August 5 to 8)
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August 6 to 30)
- Creamfields (August 26 to 29)
- Reading and Leeds (August 27 to 29)
- Notting Hill Carnival (August 29 to 30)
‘And I applaud him for that, and I am going to hold his feet to the fire on it. And I think there’s going to be 200,000 young people holding his feet to the fire on that position as well.
‘We see the numbers daily, it looks like everybody would have received a first vaccine by June 21, very comfortably, it looks like everybody would have received the second vaccine on the numbers that are being projected by August 9. Reading and Leeds Festival are three weeks later than that.
‘I’ve got every expectation that the Prime Minister will deliver on his word. He’s running the country, he’s got every resource in the country available to him, and I’m willing to accept his word.’
The sudden surge of interest in Reading and Leeds from music fans caused the website to crash yesterday soon after the announcement that it was going ahead.
Those trying to buy tickets or read up on the festival were met with a message saying: ‘Error establishing a database connection’ – but it later returned online.
It came after Festival Republic confirmed that the double festival would take place at Little John’s Farm in Reading and Bramham Park in Leeds this year.
Asked if he had cancellation insurance, Mr Benn said: ‘No we haven’t, and that’s something that we’ve pressed the Government on. And actually I’ve got events that I haven’t pushed in advance of Reading and Leeds Festival.
‘I’ve got events that I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do in Finsbury Park for instance in early July (Wireless), I’ve got Latitude Festival in the middle of July.
‘And the timing between June 21 and July 3 and 4, the timing between June 21 and Latitude on July 20, that’s too tight without insurance.
Wireless Festival is still due to take place at Finsbury Park in North London on July 2 to 4
Latitude Festival is also set to take place in Suffolk on July 22 to 25. The event is seen in 2019
Euro 2021 latter stages (June 21 to July 11) · Stonehenge Summer Solstice (June 21) · Wimbledon (June 28 to July 11) · Wireless (July 2 to 4) · BST Hyde Park (July 9 to 10) · The Open, Royal St George’s (July 11 to 18) · F1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone (July 16 to 18) · Latitude (July 22 to 25) · Glorious Goodwood Festival (July 27 to 31) · Bestival (July 29 to August 1) · Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August 6 to 30) · Creamfields (August 26 to 29) · Reading and Leeds (August 27 to 29) · Notting Hill Carnival (August 29 to 30). CANCELLED – Glastonbury (June 23 to 27)
‘And Reading and Leeds is too tight without insurance, but if June 21 comes along and the Prime Minister says I’m afraid everything’s off, the wheels have come off, and you can’t have your events, I would still then have enough time to cancel Reading and Leeds without undue cost.’
How Reading and Leeds could operate at 13% and 23% capacity with social distancing
Reading could operate at 13 per cent of capacity while Leeds would be at 23 per cent if the festivals followed social distancing guidelines, a study found.
Geospatial analysis company
It found 13,970 festival-goers could fit within Reading’s festival site compared to its 105,000 capacity, while at Leeds, 17,120 could attend instead of 75,000, or 23 per cent of the normal volume.
Reading could operate at 13 per cent of capacity – 13,970 instead of 105,000 – if all attendees following social distancing rules
The company also determined that if Glastonbury had gone ahead, only 5 per cent (4,967) of the Pyramid Stage’s estimated 100,000 capacity would have been possible under the same social distancing formula.
The method used placed a single person inside a two-metre diameter circle, following the usual two-metre social distancing guidelines.
But this was with an additional two metres of space between each circle, allowing some space for people to move around, to represent a hypothetical estimation of festival capacity.
Leeds Festival could operate at 23 per cent of capacity- 17,120 fans instead of 75,000
Sam Bark, cartographer at Esri UK, said: ‘We wanted to examine how many people could hypothetically fit within a festival site ahead of the summer festival season.
‘Spatial analysis can help give event organisers an indication of capacity for any type of event, either outdoors or indoors.
‘Obviously, the figures come with some caveats, as most festival goers are in groups of more than one and people don’t remain stationary, but the criteria can be easily adjusted.
‘For example, the size of bubbles can be increased, or additional space could be added between each bubble, which would reduce capacity further.’
The event will take place on the August bank holiday weekend, which will be two months after Boris Johnson plans to lift all coronavirus restrictions.
It marks the first major summer event in Britain to be confirmed after the Prime Minister said on Monday that all Covid-19 rules are set to be dropped on June 21.
But major questions remain over whether those attending would need to have a Covid-19 test or show proof of vaccination before walking through the gate.
Asked if he was ready to arrange vaccine passports or Covid certification, Mr Benn said: ‘I’m more than geared up for it.
‘I’ve published a plan called the Full Capacity Plan in June last year, and it’s exactly what the Prime Minister was talking about yesterday which was the NHS app carrying the vaccine certificate or allowing people to be tested and carrying the same Covid-free status as the vaccine certificated would give you.
‘I’m 100 per cent geared up for it, I talk to scientists and doctors more than I talk to popstars at the moment quite frankly, and I’m learning a lot as I go on. The whole industry is geared up for it.’
Festival Republic has previously spoken of the importance of people getting tested – but also that enough people at the event would have to be vaccinated.
Among the acts due to perform at Reading and Leeds this year are Post Malone, Queens of the Stone Age and Disclosure.
Shortly after the announcement yesterday, Liam Gallagher tweeted: ‘READING n LEEDS c’mon you f***ers.’
Mr Benn also spoke to BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat and told the show: ‘We can be very confident that Reading and Leeds Festival is going to take place.
‘We’ve been working away with the Government for a long time, and in fairness we haven’t done it – the Government have done it, the Government are everybody and that’s how it’s going to happen. Of course the acts are desperate to play, the kids are desperate to come, I can feel that.’
Mr Benn was also asked what happens if the Government’s timetable is pushed back.
He said: ‘Why would it? Of course there’s always what ifs, what ifs, what ifs. But we have to at some point start planning for life to go back.’
‘On the vaccination programme, the Government have been spot on. If I was a betting man, and I am a betting man in this instance, I would say there’s no reason to doubt that they’re going to do that.’
And speaking about whether there would be more announcements on festivals taking place, Mr Benn said: ‘I certainly hope so. We’re looking at it.
‘Reading and Leeds are the latest festivals I have in the UK this summer, and that’s the one therefore I feel most confident about it. Do as I do, and put your faith in Government.
‘Rain or shine, it’s going to be one of the most joyous weekends of my life. Reading and Leeds is always one of the most joyous weekends of any year, but this year is going to be one of the most joyous weekends of my entire life. This August bank holiday will prove to be amazing.’
Weekend tickets for Reading are still available through the official website for £232 each face value, but are also being resold by the likes of Viagogo for up to £542.
Camp Bestival is also set to go ahead at Lulworth Castle in Dorset from July 29 to August 1
Wildnerness has also confirmed it will go ahead in Oxfordshire from August 5 to 8 this year
Creamfields has confirmed it will be happening in Cheshire this year from August 26 to 29
The UK festival circuit has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic with its 2020 season mostly wiped out, and the Government launching an inquiry into their future.
Rishi Sunak plans for post-lockdown boom
Rish Sunak will use a giveaway Budget next week to pave the way for a post-lockdown boom.
Help for motorists, hospitality firms and the housing market is expected to be among a string of eye-catching policies. The Chancellor is set to shelve plans for tax rises, including a threatened 5p increase in fuel duty that would have hit millions of drivers.
He is also poised to announce further VAT and business rate cuts for the hospitality and tourist industries, continue the stamp duty holiday and extend the jobs furlough scheme.
Treasury officials are examining even more dramatic plans for a major stimulus to the economy later this year. This could include vouchers for high street shoppers and lower alcohol duty for restaurants and pubs battered by coronavirus restrictions until early summer.
The latter move would be coupled with higher levies on supermarket booze to help local traders. A return of last summer’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme is another possibility. Officials are also said to be examining the case for long-term reform of the stamp duty system because of concerns that it distorts the housing market.
Mr Sunak had hoped to use his Budget to set out a path to restoring the battered public finances. Record borrowing has seen the national debt top £2trillion for the first time. But the third coronavirus lockdown has forced him to shelve plans for immediate tax rises.
Singer Tom Grennan, who is due to play at the festival, told BBC Breakfast: ‘I’m very excited. I feel like it’s given everyone a bit of hope, it’s given me a bit of hope.
‘It’s so exciting that the music industry is being spoken about now again. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, finally.
‘And I feel like it’s really going to happen if these lateral tests and quick tests get put on with tickets, and I think people will have to queue up a little bit longer.
‘But if they do I feel like it that means an un-socially distanced party, then I think everybody’s up for it. So I’m ready for it, it’s going to be great.
‘When everyone else was told, we all got told. Everyone just went mad. My management rang me up and go like: ‘it’s happening, it’s happening, it’s happening’.
‘But we’ve just got to be hopeful and keep the rules, and keep to what Boris Johnson says still, and then when we get the green light, then it’s all happening.’
Dr Google, manager of rap act Bad Boy Chiller Crew, who are due to play Reading and Leeds, told BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat: ‘Obviously anything can get cancelled but… I don’t think the music industry could last another 12 months without any live events’.
A tweet on the festival’s official Twitter page yesterday said: ‘Following the government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer. Let’s go.’
The sister events – known for their mix of rap, rock and pop – will also feature Charli XCX and Yungblud.
Social media users posted a series of congratulatory memes as people who had already bought tickets breathed a sigh of relief that the festival will still go ahead.
But others were left unimpressed by the news, with one tweeting: ‘Let’s go spreading Covid and putting us back in another lockdown, irresponsible if you ask me.’
Another said: ‘Wow… gather a whole load of unvaxxed people together, throw social distancing out the window, no hand hygiene… result = kiss goodbye to next autumn and winter… thanks for announcing next year is cancelled too.’
The line-up for this year includes Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Post Malone and Lewis Capaldi
Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his lockdown exit strategy on Monday
And a third tweeted: ‘For any of us who live near we know exactly what happens. Arrive long before often stay days later while going in and out major supermarkets often not washed due to the nature of festival camping. Thus major spreaders.’
It comes after the organisers Glastonbury Festival, the largest greenfield music festival in the world, last month cancelled the event for a second year running.
News is still awaited on other music festivals due to take place after June 21, including BST Hyde Park and Camp Bestival – as well as the Notting Hill Carnival.
By May 17 larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues, with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is lower, will be allowed.
Greg Parmley, chief executive of Live – a trade body for the live music industry – said: ‘Confirmation that Reading and Leeds music festivals will be taking place in August is a great moment that will give people hope of better times to come.
Liam Gallagher, pictured at Glastonbury in 2019, is one of the main acts at Reading and Leeds
Shortly after the announcement, Gallagher tweeted: ‘READING n LEEDS c’mon you f***ers’
‘The Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday has given some organisers confidence but there is still a large amount of uncertainty ahead of us.
‘With the Government only committing to provide a week’s notice on the lifting of all restrictions, this will mean for many it will just be too late and we will see further cancellations.
‘This is why, despite the good news, the Government must commit to further sector-specific support for our industry in the Budget as we start our long road to recovery.’
Mr Benn told NME last month that the plans for Reading and Leeds were ‘based on the vaccine first and testing second’, adding: ‘It could be a mix of both.’
He told how ‘we can get away with shows purely on testing’, continuing: ‘It’s immensely hard work, but operationally doable and hopefully unnecessary.’
Mr Benn said of his Full Capacity Plan: ‘The vaccination and verification that you’ve had it would give you that safety of knowing that you’re not going to get super ill.’
The Prime Minister said this week he was ‘very optimistic’ that he will be able to fully remove all of the rules on June 21 but warned ‘nothing can be guaranteed’.
And Mr Johnson urged the nation to be ‘prudent’ by continuing to follow the rules after publishing his road map to gradually lift the third national lockdown.
Meanwhile Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has been tasked with leading a review into the possible use of vaccine passports for people attending events.
It comes as football supporters and sports fans could be back in stadiums within weeks under Government plans to test how coronavirus spreads in crowds.
Are these the events that could save summer? From the Euros to Edinburgh Festival and Notting Hill Carnival – mass spectacles that could usher in crowds once Covid rules are eased
Major sporting, cultural and music events are set to return to Britain this summer after the Government said it hopes to remove all
By May 17 larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues, with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is lower, will be allowed; while at outdoor seated venues it will be 10,000 or a quarter full, again whichever is lower.
But all rules are due to be removed by June 21, which could mean a return of tennis fans to
Reading and Leeds Festival on August bank holiday weekend has been confirmed, and there are hopes that news on Latitude and Wireless – both in July – could follow.
Other events which could be held at capacity include Euro 2021 matches at Wembley, apart from the first two England games which fall before the date.
Also allowed to welcome capacity crowds will be music festivals such as BST Hyde Park, Camp Bestival and Reading and Leeds – as well as the Notting Hill Carnival.
And there could be a huge celebration at Stonehenge for summer solstice, which is on June 21 itself, but English Heritage is yet to confirm arrangements.
There are 975 music festivals across the UK each year in normal circumstances – although the biggest of them all, Glastonbury, has already been cancelled.
Here are some big events which could go ahead with no restrictions this summer:
Euro 2021 (June 11 to July 11) – no restrictions from June 21
England’s first Euro 2020 match at Wembley Stadium in London is against Croatia on June 13, then Scotland on June 18, with 10,000 fans expected to be allowed at both.
However England’s final group game with the Czech Republic on June 22 could be the first in front of a full house at Wembley, one day after the crowd limits are lifted.
This therefore raises a best-case-scenario of 90,000 fans for the match, and any further games at Wembley including the semi-finals and final on July 6, 7 and 11.
However sources have disclosed to the Daily Mail it is ‘highly unlikely’ that the remaining Wembley matches of the Euros would see the venue at full capacity.
There are hopes to get up to 24,000 in for England v Scotland, but it is also unlikely that fans of visiting nations will be allowed tickets, despite a reluctance to admit this.
Talks are planned between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and UEFA ahead of the tournament, which is planned to be held across Europe this year.
England football fans at Wembley Stadium for a Euro 2020 qualifying match on March 22, 2019
Stonehenge Summer Solstice (June 21)
The first major event of 2021 that is due to take place with no legal restrictions on crowds or social distancing in Britain will be the summer solstice at Stonehenge.
The annual event has attracted neo-pagans, including people who claim to have resurrected the ancient practices of the Celtic druids, since the mid-19th century.
English Heritage decided in 2000 to open Stonehenge twice a year, on the summer and winter solstices, in addition to its normal opening hours throughout the year.
The summer and winter solstice sunrises were live-streamed from the stones last year as the public were urged to ‘stay safe’ and watch it online home instead.
But this year’s summer solstice could go ahead with no restrictions compared to normal, in what could well be a spectacular event attracting huge public demand.
English Heritage told MailOnline on Tuesday it would ‘begin the process of making plans’ over the ‘forthcoming weeks’ following the Government’s new timetable.
Crowds gather at Stonehenge in Wiltshire to celebrate the summer solstice on June 21, 2019
Wimbledon Tennis Championships (June 28 to July 11)
The target of June 21 for all restrictions to be lifted on crowds could hardly be better timed for the Wimbledon Championships, due to begin a week later on June 28.
This staple of the British sporting summer was cancelled entirely last year but could now be one of the symbols of a return to normality in the months ahead.
However, the All England Club has urged caution, saying it remained ‘focused on developing our plans within the scenarios of full, reduced and no public capacity’.
Officials in South West London added that they wanted to ‘remain as agile and flexible as possible to the Government and public health situation’.
They continued: ‘While the success of the ongoing vaccination programme is very heartening, we recognise the need for a cautious approach at this point in time.’
Tennis fans pack out Court One during Wimbledon at the All England Club on July 3, 2017
BST Hyde Park (July 9 to 10)
One of the first major music festivals that could go ahead with no restrictions this summer is BST Hyde Park in London, featuring Pearl Jam and Duran Duran.
Tickets went on sale for the three-day event last December, which is sponsored by American Express, and up to 65,000 people are expected to attend each day.
Other artists set to perform at the festival – which has been running since 2013 – from July 9 to 11 include Grace Jones, Pixies, Idles and Nile Rodgers and Chic.
Pearl Jam and Duran Duran were both due to appear at last year’s festival, along with Taylor Swift, Post Malone and Kendrick Lamar, but this was cancelled in April.
MailOnline contacted the organisers this week for an update on whether this year’s festival is still going ahead. General admission tickets are £68 each for one day.
The Killers perform to tens of thousands of people at BST Hyde Park in London in July 2017
The Open, Royal St George’s (July 11 to 18)
The easing of restrictions will come too soon for the British Masters on May 12, but golf fans can look forward to the Open Championship at Royal St George in July.
Organisers of the tournament, which was cancelled last year for the first time since the Second World War, are hopeful it will go ahead at the course in Sandwich, Kent.
The R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said only a fortnight ago that a ‘rigorous scenario-planning exercise’ was underway to ensure the event takes place.
He added that staff were still planning for a ‘full-scale Championship’ but also had ‘robust plans in place for a reduced capacity or behind-closed-doors model’.
When last year’s event was postponed, a decision that was announced in April 2020, it also pushed back the 150th Open due to take place at St Andrews to 2022.
Golf fans watch the Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland on July 21, 2019
Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone (July 16 to 18)
Silverstone could be full of Formula 1 motor racing fans for the British Grand Prix on July 18, which would be another key feature in the UK’s summer of sport.
Before the third lockdown the Northamptonshire circuit’s chief executive had said he was hopeful that thousands of fans would be back at the track for the event.
Boss Stuart Pringle told ITV News Anglia in December that a ‘combination of vaccine and testing will mean there’s a very good chance of having close to a full crowd’.
Some 330,000 spectators normally attend the race over three days at Silverstone, which benefits this year from being an outdoor venue with open grandstands.
And Mr Pringle added that there was a ‘reasonable chance that some of the younger population will have received the vaccine’ by the time the event begins.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his victory at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 10, 2016
Camp Bestival (July 29 to August 1)
Music fans are hoping they will still be able to catch Fatboy Slim, Friendly Fires and Groove Armada at Camp Bestival this summer with preparations still underway.
The festival is due to take place at Lulworth Castle from July 29 to August 1, with other acts including Sophie Ellis Bextor, the Sugarhill Gang and Heather Small.
Its organisers gave an update three weeks ago saying they were ‘continuing to work behind the scenes to get ready for Camp Bestival this summer’.
Rob Da Bank, its founder, said he was ‘gutted’ about Glastonbury being cancelled but was still ‘optimistic’ that the summer festival season would happen in Britain.
The DJ, real name Robert John Gorham, tweeted last month: ‘Sadly Glasto is such a mammoth beast to plan, it ran outta time … keep ’em all crossed festifolk.’
Fans enjoy watching Tom Odell perform at Bestival on the Isle of Wight on September 8, 2013
Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August 6 to 30)
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which calls itself the ‘single greatest celebration of arts and culture on the planet’, is due to take place from August 6 to 30.
Organisers have confirmed the event, which is organised by a charity, will definitely happen between these dates, but they are unsure if it will be live or online or both.
Bosses said last month that plans were being made ‘in the midst of great uncertainty’ and it was ‘still too early to say exactly what the festival will look like at this stage’.
The matter is complicated by Boris Johnson’s roadmap to end lockdown potentially being different to one that is set to be unveiled in Scotland by Nicola Sturgeon.
She said Scotland’s route out of lockdown will not be identical to Mr Johnson’s, but will be ‘broadly similar’, and the principles of easing restrictions will be the same.
People walk down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile during the Festival Fringe on August 13, 2017
Reading and Leeds Festival (August 27 to 29)
The double festival set to take place at Little John’s Farm in Reading and Bramham Park in Leeds is still due to happen over the August bank holiday weekend.
The line-up includes Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and Lewis Capaldi, and organisers Festival Republic have been working with the Government to ensure it can happen.
Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn told NME last month that the plans were ‘always based on the vaccine first and testing second’, adding: ‘It could be a mix of both.’
He told how ‘we can get away with shows purely on testing’, continuing: ‘It’s immensely hard work, but operationally doable and hopefully unnecessary.’
Mr Benn said of their full capacity plan: ‘The vaccination and verification that you’ve had it would give you that safety of knowing that you’re not going to get super ill.’
Music fans watch Major Lazer during the Leeds Festival at Bramham Park on August 27, 2017
Notting Hill Carnival (August 29 to 30)
Organisers of the Notting Hill Carnival, which is one of the final major summer events, said on February 2 it would not happen if social distancing remains in place.
Europe’s biggest street party, which takes place in West London, was forced online last year for the first time in its 54-year history due to the pandemic.
Matthew Phillip, chief executive of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, told the culture select committee: ‘For Carnival weekend specifically, it would pose a very big problem.
‘It would be very difficult to hold Carnival in its traditional format on the streets with social distancing in place. It would be devastating for a second year in a row.’
However the news that all social distancing rules could be removed by June 21 suggests the carnival will now be good to go on the August bank holiday weekend.
Crowds walk down Ladbroke Grove during the Notting Hill Carnival in London in August 2019
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