Fans and music world react to Glastonbury 2020 being cancelled

"Heartbreaking" but "the right decision"

Fans and figures from the music world have shared their upset and support for the decision to cancel Glastonbury 2020 in the wake of the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic saw the cancellation of SXSW and postponement of Coachella, before a huge number of other gigs, tours, events and festivals were pulled for health and safety reasons to stop the spread of COVID-19. The first full wave of acts on the Glastonbury line-up was only announced last Thursday, with the festival still vowing to go “ahead after much consideration given the current circumstances, and with the best of intentions”.

Now, Glasto has confirmed that it will not be going ahead this June – and will return next summer. “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,” said organisers Michael and Emily Eavis in a statement. “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.

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They added: “We’re so sorry that this decision has been made. It was not through choice. But we look forward to welcoming you back to these fields next year and until then, we send our love and support to all of you.”

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has named as this year's Godlike Genius at the NME Awards 2020.
Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis, who was named as this year’s Godlike Genius at the NME Awards 2020. Credit: Tom Jackson

In the wake of the news, fans and figures from the industry have taken online to share their thoughts.

“This is so, so sad – I know how hard they tried to make it happen,” wrote journalist Caitlin Moran. “They are the best people in the world. Everyone who was going to go will just have to vow – automatically, obviously – to make Glastonbury 2021 the BEST ONE EVER. Which is always is. Love to everyone on the Farm.”

DJ Annie Mac agreed: “Sending all my love to Michael and @emilyeavis and the Glastonbury Crew today. It’s such a heartbreaking decision to have to make.”

By and large, voices on Twitter seemed to be echoing their devastation at the sad news – but supportive of the decision (especially letting fans keep their tickets for next year) and vowing to make the most of Glasto 2021 when it returns.

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Set to take place from June 24-28 at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Glastonbury 2020’s headliners have were confirmed as Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift. Diana Ross was due to fill the Sunday legends slot, while Dua Lipa, Pet Shop Boys, Fatboy Slim, Manic Street Preachers, Robyn, Haim, FKA Twigs and many more were also on the bill.

Glasto 2020 had also attracted headlines for featuring a gender-equal line-up. 

The cancellation comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged UK citizen to avoid music venues, theatres, pubs, and “non-essential contact” to control the spread of coronavirus. The government then pledged billions in loans and grants to help businesses survive closure during the crisis.

This week has also seen a crowdfunding campaign to help road crews who have lost work as a direct work of.

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