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Music industry issues official advice on how festivals can go ahead next summer

Festival-goers could be forced to wear masks to next year's events.

CREDIT: Ollie Millington/Redferns
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A wide selection of music industry bodies have joined forces to issue official advice on how festivals can take place next year, after COVID-19 forced their widespread cancellation this summer.

The new planning framework is led by the Association of Independent Festivals, the Events Industry Forum (EIF) and Attitude Is Everything, alongside additional guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Public Health England (PHE).

Covering eight key themes, the document includes the suggestion that festival-goers could be forced to wear face-masks in a bid to curb the spread of the disease.

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Under the specific mitigation measures section, it states: “Face Coverings – worn at all times by all public attendees and front-of-house staff, how will they be advised of this and how will it be implemented?”

It also focuses on the suggestion that the track and trace app could be key to permitting entry to festivals next year.

“There could well be an expectation that festival organisers embrace the NHS Test and Trace system and other HMG initiatives in their policies and procedures,” the advice states.

The new guidance can be read in full here and will be frequently updated.

The Association of Independent Festivals CEO, Paul Reed, commented: “Risk mitigation is what festival promoters do for a living, so the intent of this guidance is to outline Covid-19 specific planning considerations that will allow for bespoke risk assessment approaches in liaison with relevant authorities and agencies.

“I’d like to thank the AIF Ops Group for leading on this important piece of work and also DCMS, PHE officials and the wider festival industry for their invaluable contributions.”

The latest advice comes after Reading & Leeds boss Melvin Benn said that testing will prove key in both events taking place next summer.

“COVID has given us a year off, so the innovation for next year is testing – everybody will be tested,” Benn told NME last month.

He continued: “We don’t need a vaccination because we can work through the problem with a really good testing regime. We’ll be able to do this by next year. If there is a vaccine, there will be sufficient for the old and the vulnerable. Young people can resist it. The government know that now.

“In March and April, they didn’t know that. Everybody was shit-scared and that’s inevitable, but as we’ve learned more, we know the strong and healthy are able to survive it.”

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