Though most major festivals haven’t said as much outright, it’s clear that COVID-19 is a disastrous threat to their future. Most festivals run on razor thin margins and use the profits of one year to fuel the next. With COVID-19, essentially all festivals are forced to forego all income in 2020 and that hurts a lot.
Of the major festivals, Glastonbury is one of the biggest in the world, and organisers Michael and Emily Eavis spoke with The Guardian candidly about the future of the festival. Putting it bluntly, Michael said: “We have to run next year, otherwise we would seriously go bankrupt … It has to happen for us, we have to carry on. Otherwise it will be curtains. I don’t think we could wait another year.”
In addition to the festival itself, Glastonbury has many charity initiatives that require funding and without income from another major summer event, their coffers could run dry. Emily says they have four different contingency plans should things remain bleak next summer, and remained optimistic throughout the report.
“We’ve navigated choppy waters so many times,” she told Guardian. “This festival has always evolved and found ways to survive, and I’m confident that we will again. Mutate to survive!”
With other reports already stating that 90% of independent music venues could disappear if there’s no government initiative in the next six months to help (if/while they remain closed), major festivals, especially independent ones like Glastonbury, are equally at risk.
The festival debuted in 1970, making it one of the longest running major music festivals in the world.
via Guardian | Photo via Anna Barclay