So, here’s everything we know so far in the aftermath of the announcement, from what happens regarding refunds to what this means for 2021’s line-up.
Why has Glastonbury Festival been cancelled?
In a statement, Glastonbury Festival have said that 2020 will be “an enforced fallow year for the festival” due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, citing “new government measures” in “times of such unprecedented uncertainty”.
The organisers added that the decision was the only “viable option” and that they were “so sorry” to have to make the decision.
Why has the announcement come now?
Glastonbury organisers say they wanted to make a decision before the rest of the money for tickets (after the initial deposit of £50) were due this April.
They also state that even if the coronavirus pandemic eases by June 2020 (though recent reports suggest the crisis could last until spring 2021), they would be unable to undergo the preparation work needed to get the festival ready in time.
“We very much hope that the situation in the UK will have improved enormously by the end of June,” they say in their statement. “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.”
Can I get my money back?
Yes. Balance payments will no longer come out in April and customers are able to get a refund of their £50 deposit if they wish. They have until September 2020 to make this decision. See Tickets will have more information in the coming days on deposit refunds.
Glastonbury’s statement reads: “Those who would prefer a refund of that £50 will be able to contact See Tickets in the coming days in order to secure that. This option will remain available until September this year.”
Will there be refunds on coach packages and accommodation?
Details on this will follow via the Glastonbury Festival website, with the organisers saying: “Further information – including details on rolling over coach packages, official accommodation bookings and local Sunday tickets – will be added to our website in the coming days.”
Will I be able to attend in 2021 instead?
Yes. If you had a ticket for 2020 then you have the option for your £50 deposit to roll over to 2021, which will happen automatically if you are happy for it to do so.
The statement reads: “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.”
Will I still be able to get tickets for 2021 if I haven’t got them for 2020?
It is reasonable to imagine that not everyone with a ticket for 2020’s event will be able, or wish, to attend in 2021. Therefore, there will most likely be tickets available for 2021, although this may be a far smaller number than in previous years.
It is currently unclear whether there will be a full ticket sale for Glastonbury 2021 in September 2020 as in previous years, or whether there will be a resale date set for all the refunded tickets. More information will be available in due course.
Will the 2021 line-up be the same as 2020?
This is not currently known. 2020’s event had seen Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar booked as headliners for the 50th anniversary edition, with the likes of Dua Lipa, Pet Shop Boys, Fatboy Slim, Diana Ross, Lana Del Rey and more also set to perform.
Whether many of these acts will be available to perform at 2021’s festival will be subject to individual availability and tour schedules, but this will be clearer nearer to the time of the festival.
If it’s not the same, when will the 2021 line-up be announced?
We don’t know yet, but usually the complete Glastonbury line-up is revealed around March, with the headliners teased in the months building up to the full announcement.
What financial impact will the cancellation have?
The cancellation has been described by the organisers as a “terrible blow,” and one that will cause “severe financial implications as a result”. Some reports suggest that losses “could be as high as £100 million”.
The cancellation will also have a knock-on affect for charity partners, the wider Glastonbury community and all business with an economic tie to the festival.
Glasto’s statement reads: “The cancellation of this year’s Festival will no doubt come as a terrible blow to our incredible crew and volunteers who work so hard to make this event happen. There will also inevitably be severe financial implications as a result of this cancellation – not just for us, but also the Festival’s charity partners, suppliers, traders, local landowners and our community.”
Will there be any alternative events?
Any alternative Glasto pop-ups would be dependent on the coronavirus crisis guidance around live events at the time.
However, there has been a rise in virtual gigs during the Covid-19 pandemic, with acts such as Yungblud and L Devine live-streaming digital performances to fans online in the aftermath of venue shutdowns.
The BBC have also announced plans to broadcast “a celebration of Glastonbury” this summer, which may include archive footage from previous years. A statement from the BBC press office reads: “We, along with the Eavis family, are saddened that understandably, the Glastonbury Festival can’t take place. We are already looking forward to next year’s festival at Worthy Farm and will now look at providing our audiences with a celebration of Glastonbury in June.”
Have any other festivals been cancelled?
Glastonbury is one of many festivals which has been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, both in the UK and rest of the world. So far, we have seen the cancellation of SXSW and postponement of Coachella in the US, as well as Radio 1’s Big Weekend in the UK. Many other UK festivals are said to be currently going ahead “as planned” but are thought to be monitoring the situation.
NME approached Glastonbury for further comment following the cancellation. They had nothing further to add at this point but said more information will be shared on their website in the coming days.