Clare Lusher joins AEG’s European festivals leadership team, overseeing events including BST Hyde Park and All Points East
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“By carrying through our festivals this summer, we can be a crucial part of the survival of this industry,” say Roskilde, Primavera, NorthSide, Melt and others
By Jon Chapple on 20 Mar 2020
Some of Europe’s biggest independent music festivals have put out an open letter to fans and the business stating that they expect to go ahead with their events this summer, and that in doing so they will “be a crucial part of the survival of this industry”.
Under the heading ‘Festivals Stand United Across Europe’ (#FestivalsStandUnited), events including Roskilde Festival (27 June–4 July), Primavera Sound (3–7 June), Rock en Seine (29 August–1 September), Bilbao BBK Live (9–11 July), Bergenfest (10–13 June), Exit Festival (9–12 July), Melt Festival (17–19 July) and NorthSide (4–6 June), as well festival association Yourope, say they “expect to carry through our festivals this summer”, with all standing “united to make it a safe and sound experience for our participants and the outside world.
“It’s about taking responsibility for the events – and it’s about taking responsibility for the industry we’re part of.”
Many of the signatories’ host countries are currently in lockdown due to coronavirus – Denmark, for example, prohibits gatherings of more than 100 people, with similar restrictions in place in France – but the festivals are optimistic the outbreak will be contained and reversed by the start of the summer season.
The letter says that while the festivals will ultimately follow experts’ medical advice and obey the local authorities, they owe it to the industry’s smaller players and freelancers, who are among the hardest hit by the current downturn, to play their part in the live music food chain.
“By carrying through our festivals this summer, we can be a crucial part of the survival of this industry”
“It’s an industry in which we, as major festivals, are the final part of a food chain where the smaller players – the artists, the venues, sound and light production and many more – are already suffering from the serious situation we are in,” it continues. “They suffer so much that they may not be able to recover if they are not given the opportunity to be a part of festivals like ours.
“By carrying through our festivals this summer, we can be a crucial part of the survival of this industry.
“We owe it to the community, the music, the art and the culture to assume responsibility together.”
Glastonbury aside, Europe has yet to see any major 2020 festival cancellations or postponements, unlike in the US, where Coachella, Bonnaroo and BottleRock are off, and Latin America, where the various Lollapaloozas have been pushed back to later this year.
Read the festivals’ open letter in full here.
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