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Glastonbury won’t go bankrupt after 2021 cancellation

Organiser Emily Eavis says that cancelling the festival now would limit losses and that Glastonbury will return in 2022

By IQ on 25 Jan 2021

The proposed concert would take place only on the Pyramid Stage

Organiser, Emily Eavis, says that the 2022 event will be an "enormous high"

image © Wikimedia Common/Guy Hurst

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis says that the cancellation of this year’s event and a second fallow year won’t bankrupt the festival.

Last week, Emily and her father Michael, who founded Glastonbury, announced that the festival would not take place this year, “in spite of our efforts to move heaven and earth”.

In an interview with The Guardian, Emily dismissed concerns that Glastonbury could go bankrupt after a second fallow year and also denied reports that the cancellation was due to insurance issues.

Emily said that the 2021 cancellation was due to a number of factors, from restrictions on public transport to the availability of medical staff and “the simple fact that mass gatherings are currently still legally prohibited and it’s not at all clear when that will be reversed”.

“Next year is going to give us all such an enormous high… when we can all reunite on this scale it will feel even more uplifting”

In 2020 the festival lost £5 million after cancelling in March with much of the planning and work underway. Cancelling now meant this year’s losses would not compare, she said.

“We would have been in trouble if we’d hedged our bets and pushed on regardless to March and then had to cancel. We’d have spent a lot of money by then, money which we wouldn’t get back.”

Following her earlier appeal for a government-backed event cancellation fund – similar to schemes that have launched in Germany and Austria – Eavis said: “It’s not even about insurance. It’s about the government offering direct financial support where events have to cancel because of circumstances they have no control over. If other countries can do that, I would hope we would be able to.”

Looking to the future, Eavis says that the 2022 event will be an “enormous high” and in the meantime, is working on Glastonbury-related projects for this year, including livestreamed events, and possibly a version of the annual Pilton Party usually held in September.

Planning for the 2022 festival would traditionally commence in September but could be pushed back “if we’re extremely confident we’ll be able to go ahead”, Eavis told The Guardian. “I think next year is going to give us all such an enormous high, because when we can all reunite on this scale it will feel even more uplifting than ever. One thing this last year has taught us is that fundamentally we all need human connection.”


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