Glastonbury cancellation underlines ‘devastating impact’ on music industry

File photo dated 27/06/19 of an aerial view of tents at the camping site at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somers
File photo dated 27/06/19 of an aerial view of tents at the camping site at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset, the festival's 50th anniversary edition has been postponed from June 2020 until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, its organisers have said.

The cancellation of Glastonbury 2020 is a “bitter blow”, the acting boss of UK Music has said.

Tom Kiehl, currently acting chief executive of the body which represents the music industry’s commercial interests, also called on the Government to provide support for “self-employed musicians and workers” who would have been a part of the festival.

Glastonbury was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year and is among a long list of high-profile events pushed back or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kiehl told the PA news agency: “Glastonbury is the flagship festival for our £5.2 billion UK music industry.

“Its cancellation is a bitter blow and underlines the devastating impact the virus is having on the music industry.

“It’s vital that the Government provides support for the many self-employed musicians and all those workers who would otherwise have been involved in this wonderful event”.

Jo Whiley, who has presented the festival’s coverage on the BBC, was also among the people responding to the news.

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar was due to play Glastonbury (PA)

She tweeted: “This is so devastatingly disappointing for so many people on different levels – sending love to you if this is the news you were dreading.

“Next year @glastonbury is going to be off the scale. But for now much love to @emilyeavis & the Glasto family.”

Festival organisers Michael and Emily Eavis confirmed that tickets for this year would roll over into 2021.

In a long statement posted on social media, they said the decision was “not through choice. But we look forward to welcoming you back to these fields next year and until then, we send our love and support to all of you. Michael & Emily”.

DJ Annie Mac tweeted: “Sending all my love to Michael and @emilyeavis and the @glastonbury Crew today. It’s such a heartbreaking decision to have to make. Xx”.

Lorna Clarke, controller of pop music at the BBC, said the broadcaster was “saddened” the festival could not go ahead.

She said: “We, along with the Eavis family, are saddened that understandably, the Glastonbury Festival can’t take place. We are already looking forward to next year’s festival at Worthy Farm and will now look at providing our audiences with a celebration of Glastonbury in June.”

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