NASS Festival has announced that its 2021 event will not be going ahead, with organisers worried about changing COVID-19 restrictions.
The Streets, Headie One and Kano were booked to headline the skate festival, which was due to take place September 23-26, with Little Simz, Becky Hill, Pa Salieu and Greentea Peng also scheduled to appear across the weekend. The tickets were sold out.
In a statement organisers said that despite their best efforts “running NASS this year has become impossible.”
“Whilst the government has announced an insurance scheme, it doesn’t cover us if guidelines around social distancing etc. change. With growing rumours that guidelines for events could change, talk of a lockdown and vaccine passports now due to come in at some point this month instead of October, it’s simply too big of a risk for us to try and go ahead.”
“If we were to gamble, we run the risk of having to cancel a couple of days beforehand and taking a huge, 8 figure financial hit. As an independent business and, after two years of not being able to run NASS, the financial burden this scenario would create is simply too much for us to bear. ”
Organisers have also announced that NASS Festival 2022 will take place July 7-10, with all tickets for the 2021 event rolled over. The line-up will be announced later this year.
In August, a £750million government-backed COVID insurance scheme was announced for festivals and live events after UK festivals issued a “red alert” warning amid claims that they had “hit a brick wall” in talks with government about the issue.
Speaking to NME, chancellor Rishi Sunak said “hopefully now events can plan with confidence, regardless of circumstance”
As CEO of Association of Independent Festivals Paul Reed warned though, “the scheme doesn’t cover a festival needing to reduce capacity or cancel due to social distancing restrictions being reintroduced, so it remains imperative that government continues to work with the sector in areas such as COVID certification to try and avoid such an eventuality and ensure that organisers can plan with increased confidence for 2022.”