Emily Eavis has called on the UK government to announce new guidance for the live events industry ahead of the country’s lockdown re-opening next month.
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Last Wednesday (June 23) would have been the day when festival-goers descended on Worthy Farm for this year’s Glastonbury. However, coronavirus concerns forced Glastonbury’s cancellation for the second year in a row.
Festival co-organiser Eavis took to Instagram this evening (June 27) to thank everyone who sent her “lovely messages” and shared their festival memories with her over the past week.
She also took a moment to urge the government to announce some new guidance for “the many events which are currently hanging in the balance”.
“With summer in full swing I really hope the government are now focusing on this great industry and ready to announce some guidance for the many events which are currently hanging in the balance,” she wrote. “There is a whole ecosystem of artists, crew and suppliers who desperately need this support now or risk going out of business forever.”
On Friday (June 25), it was revealed that just 28 people who attended pilot events researching the impact of large-scale gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic tested positive for the virus.
The new data was released by scientists working for the UK government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), which was commissioned in February to help determine the roadmap out of lockdown restrictions. It comes following initial results first shared last month.
ERP scientists described the findings as “reassuring” but warned the results should be taken with “extreme caution” due to only 15 per cent of participants taking PCR tests after the events.
They said the low uptake of PCR testing before and after the nine different pilot tests in the April-May first phase, which ranged from the FA Cup Final to the BRIT Awards and the World Snooker Championships, meant it was “challenging to determine” the way in which the disease was transmitted. However, scientists pressed on the fact that no substantial outbreaks” were connected to the events.
A number of live events representatives have since called on the government to reopen the industry being there were no substantial outbreaks at any of the pilot events, including UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.
“We will continue talking to the government to get as many live events back on stage as possible from the expected July 19 reopening date to deliver a great British summer of music,” said Njoku-Goodwin.
Festivals including Truck and Kendall Calling announced the cancellation of their July events earlier this month, following the delay to the government’s final exit out of lockdown restrictions, lack of published data and general lack of guidance. A new survey revealed that half of UK festivals have now been cancelled this year.