The local council say that the event should go ahead, even if the foot and mouth epidemic spreads into the Reading area...

Local authorities in READING have assured organisers of CARLING WEEKEND READING FESTIVAL that it will go ahead, despite the foot and mouth epidemic sweeping BRITAIN, NME.COM can reveal.

The local borough council’s Emergency Planning Officer, Arthur Rabjohn, said that even if the disease spreads into the area, emergency procedures should mean that the event, which traditionally takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend (August 24-26), will go ahead as planned.

Rabjohn said: “Reading at present is not known to be a disease-exposed area. The nearest cases are at Oxford and to the west of Hungerford. The origin of these cases is known and investigations have not pointed in our direction [Reading]. In addition, the events [Reading Festival and WOMAD] are four to five months away and the disease control strategy of close down and catch up should have had a marked effect within that time-scale.

“I hope this reassures everyone that there is a high probability that they will be unaffected by the current foot and mouth crisis.”

Melvin Benn, Managing Director of festival promoters Mean Fiddler responded: “Obviously, I am making significant contingency plans to ensure that come what may, the festival will take place, even if I have to move locations. But this news is fantastic.”