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Festivals fall like dominoes as the Coronavirus continues to take toll

2 April 2020

WITH THE festival season fast approaching and the population quarantined for the foreseeable future, organisers of some of the country’s biggest summer events have been forced to follow Glastonbury (cap. 147,000) in canceling their events.

Among the latest are Download (85,000), Isle of Wight Festival (70,000) and London’s All Points East (40,000).

Meanwhile, concert promoters, venue operators and agents are among those working frantically to reschedule as much as possible from April, May and June, and wondering whether July will be the next month to fall.   

Many are counting on the public not requesting refunds for rescheduled shows, with some festivals, like Glastonbury, offering a roll-over to next year’s event.

Below is a round-up of some of the more significant summer festival cancellations.

Download (85,000)

The 18th edition of the Live Nation Entertainment-promoted event was due to take place between 12–14 June at Donnington Park, featuring KISS, Iron Maiden and System of a Down.

In a statement, organisers say, “We’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation and it’s become clear that it just isn’t possible for the 2020 festival to go ahead. This decision hasn’t been taken lightly and we’re beyond disappointed, we extend our heartfelt apologies to all of you – we really did try to make this work.”

Ticket-holders have the option of claiming a refund or retaining the ticket to use at next year’s 4–6 June event.

Isle of Wight Festival (70,000)

Also owned by Live Nation, the 11–14 June event was due to be held at Seaclose Park and feature Lewis Capaldi, the Chemical Brothers and Lionel Richie.

“We have tried our hardest to make it work, but it was unavoidable given the current status,” says a statement. “We extend our sincere apologies to everyone who was looking forward to it as much as we were.”

Ticket-holders have the option of rolling their ticket over to next year’s festival or claiming a refund.

All Points East  (40,000)

Promoted by AEG Presents-owned Goldenvoice, the festival was due to take place between 22–31 May in London’s Victoria Park.

Tame Impala, Bombay Bicycle Club and Massive Attack were among the artistes due to perform.

Ticket buyers can claim refunds, but the organisers have not offered the option of rolling tickets over to next year.

Radio 1’s Big Weekend (est. 20,000), Dundee

The ticketed free-admission festival, which is held in a different location each year, was due to return to Camperdown Park in Dundee between 22–24 May for a second time, after a visit in 2006.

Dua Lipa, Harry Style, Camila Cabello were among the artistes set to perform.

Lovebox (40,000), London

Launched in 2002 by Groove Armada DJ’s and promoted by LN-Gaiety-owned MAMA Festivals, the event was scheduled to take place in Gunnersbury Park between 12–14 June, featuring Tyler, The Creator, Robyn and Jorja Smith.

Ticket-holders have the option to roll over their purchase to the 11–13 June 2021 event or claim a refund.

The Great Escape, Brighton

Also owned by LN-Gaiety subsidiary MAMA Festivals, the 15th edition of the music festival and conference was scheduled for 13–16 May.

Artistes set to perform included Aitch, Tiffany Calder and Mae Muller.

MAMA’s third festival, after Lovebox and The Great Escape – Wilderness (10,000) – is still scheduled to take place on 30 July to 2 August. Among artistes appearing are Foals, Supergrass, Kelis and Richard Corrigan. 

Parklife (80,000)

Due to take place in Manchester’s Heaton Park between 13–14 June, the LN-Gaiety owned festival is presented in conjunction with city-based promoters The Warehouse Project, Mad Ferret, Now Wave, Metropolis, Ape, The Deaf Institute.

Khalid, Lewis Capaldi and Skepta were among the artistes due to perform.

Ticket-holders are being offered a refund or a rollover for next year’s event.

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