Glastonbury has been granted a licence to host a live music event on their festival site with an audience this year, paving the way for a potential limited concert in September.
Having exclusively revealed to NME this week that the event would be called ‘Equinox’, Glastonbury’s hopes of hosting a concert in September are now one step closer to reality.
While the Worthy Farm festival’s usual five-day event was cancelled for the second year running back in January due to coronavirus concerns, Glastonbury’s organisers subsequently submitted an application for a premises licence to Mendip District Council to host two days of live shows in 2021.
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This includes the agreement that any live music shows must take place on the Pyramid Stage, while a maximum capacity of 49,999 people (including staff, performers and crew) will be permitted on site and no camping will be allowed.
NME understands that the event will be just one day long and there is still much planning and approval required in the months ahead, depending on the COVID situation.
The live event in question also cannot be held in the years when the traditional Glastonbury Festival is run, while the festival’s affiliated Pilton Party cannot take place within 30 days of the event.
Councillor Sam Phripp, who is chair of licensing at the council, said: “Whenever a licence application is considered, Mendip rightly assesses the impact of an event on local people and seeks to find a decent balance.
“With regard to Glastonbury Festival Events Limited holding a concert in September, we’ve heard concerns from residents, and those concerns are reflected in more than 50 conditions that have been added to this licence. We believe they’re sensible measures, and match the perceived risk of the event.
“With a view to COVID-19, of course, any event would have to be COVID-safe, and Mendip will work with other organisations and the organisers to make sure that’s the case.”
Phripp added that they “hope that, COVID-depending, this event will be a success, and we look forward to welcoming music lovers back to our corner of Somerset this autumn.”
Speaking to NME recently, Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis said that the festival’s September event would be “a large[r] version of the Pilton Party” – the annual ‘thank you’ fundraising gig for villagers, workers and local people.
“We do that every September, but it will just be bigger and the public can come down,” she said. “We’ll call it Equinox if we do it. We’ve got a licence hearing and we’re working with the authorities to see what we can do, but it’s just one step at a time, really.”
Glastonbury will broadcast a special livestream on Saturday (May 22) from their festival site, featuring live performances from the likes of Coldplay, HAIM and IDLES.