Belgian festival Rock Werchter have cancelled their 2021 edition due to continued coronavirus concerns.
The festival had hoped to return in late June and early July this summer after their 2020 festival was cancelled due to the virus.
Now, the festival have confirmed that this year’s event is also off, while confirming that they will return on the dates of June 30-July 3, 2022.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly and in recent months we have been talking to governments, experts and colleagues in here and elsewhere about how festivals could take place,” a statement from the festival said.
Rock Werchter postponed. Next edition to take place from 30 June to 3 July 2022 • Live music will return to the Festivalpark this summer: plans are in the making…
— Rock Werchter (@RockWerchter) March 16, 2021
“With the great momentum on vaccine rollout, we had hoped that it might be possible, however we have come to the reluctant conclusion that given current restrictions we simply cannot prepare for a 2021 festival in the normal way. We want every fan and artist to enjoy the festival to the fullest, and with the current situation we could not achieve this for you.”
A number of European festival bosses have spoken to NME recently about their hopes of staging their events as planned this summer, as COVID-19 continues to disrupt the live music industry.
While Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival was recently cancelled alongside Werchter, Madrid’s acclaimed Mad Cool Festival is still set for July. Organisers have said that they were “excited about the festival and currently waiting for the authorities to give an update regarding the next few months,” but were “definitely in a better mood than last year”.
“Our announced line-up, which is still missing two headliners and 11 more bands, for us is one of the most interesting ones since we started the festival,” Mad Cool booker Cindy Castillo told NME. “We are craving it! Also, the UK government’s decision gives us hope for the rest of the countries and festivals.”
In the UK, news of the government’s proposed roadmap out of lockdown, which plans to allow large-scale events with no social distancing in the UK from June 21, a number of festivals have vowed to go ahead this year.
Reading & Leeds shared their plan to hold their pair of festivals as planned in August, quickly selling out in the process, while Live Nation sold over 170,000 festival tickets in the three days following the announcement of the roadmap.