Glastonbury charities predict £15,000 loss due to festival’s cancellation

SOS Africa has predicted huge losses due to the event's cancellation

Some of the charities that use Glastonbury Festival for major fundraising drives have opened up on the financial impact of its cancellation, with one charity estimating it has lost out on £15,000 of funding in the last two years.

It comes after the festival’s cancellation for the second year in a row was confirmed last month, owing to ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to SomersetLive, education charity SOS Africa said that the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 festivals could cost the organisation as much as £15,000 in fundraising, but founder Dr Matt Crowcombe said the decision was “completely understandable”.


He said: “We were invited to join the festival’s litter picking crew back in 2013. Each year SOS Africa recruits teams of 100 or more to clear the Pyramid Stage Field each morning of the festival.

“SOS Africa has received incredible support from Fiona and the Recycling Crew Organisers since 2013. We have received great publicity on the festival website and our Shepton Mallet Charity Shop even receives lost property donations from the festival each year.

“SOS Africa has lost out on funding, though Fiona and her team went out of their way to raise extra funds for the charity’s supported, such as by requesting donations and selling t-shirts from previous festivals. Last year SOS Africa’s own litter picking crew even raised £5000 to make up for funds lost after the cancellation of the festival.”

Crowcombe added: “We lost potentially around £15,000 [because of the cancellation], thanks to additional funds raised by the organisers and our litter picking crew last year.

“It is a pity but completely understandable under the current circumstances. SOS Africa has also received a huge influx of support from around the world throughout the coronavirus pandemic.”

Glastonbury Festival in 2019 (Picture: Getty)


Leading executives from both WaterAid and Oxfam – two of Glastonbury’s leading fundraisers – have also backed the decision to cancel the event in 2021.

Peter Haden, Oxfam’s chief support officer for engagement, said: “Obviously the cancellation comes at a difficult time for Oxfam and many other charities, but we look forward to continuing to work closely with Glastonbury and to being back on Worthy Farm next year. You can continue to support Oxfam and our vital work by shopping at our online shop or my making a donation on our website.”

Last month, Glastonbury founder Emily Eavis also moved to deny that Glastonbury could go bankrupt after the recent announcement that the festival has been cancelled for a second year in a row.

Michael Eavis meanwhile, has shared his hopes to potentially host a smaller event in September.

“I would like to do something in September. I would like to do something smaller somewhere around the anniversary date of when we started, which was the 18th of September 1970,” he said. “I would like to consider possibly doing something around that time.”