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The Pyramid Stage, Glastonbury Festival
The Pyramid Stage, Glastonbury FestivalPhotography Paul Holloway, via Wikimedia Commons

Glastonbury is ‘a long way’ from confirming the festival will run in 2021

‘We’re doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare,’ says organiser Emily Eavis, who recently called for government support in case of cancellation

The fate of Glastonbury 2021 remains uncertain, with Emily Eavis saying that organisers are “still quite a long way” from being able to confirm that the festival will go ahead as planned.

Since this year’s cancellation of Glastonbury due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, organisers have gone back and forth about the possibility of running the 2021 iteration. In August, founder Michael Eavis suggested that the event might not return until 2022, while Emily Eavis stated that they were “still very much aiming” for June 2021.

More recently, the festival’s lawyer was adamant that the show will go on in 2021, floating plans to rebook this year’s intended lineup. Michael Eavis has offered another glimmer of hope with the suggestion that it could go ahead with mass on-site testing for COVID-19.

Now though, Emily Eavis has once again shown uncertainty about running Glasontbury’s 50th anniversary next year. “We’re doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare,” she tells the BBC. “Obviously the vaccine news in recent weeks has increased our chances, but I think we’re still quite a long way from being able to say we’re confident 2021 will go ahead.”

“What we definitely can’t afford to risk is getting too far into the process of next year, only for it to be snatched away from us again,” she adds, explaining that the festival lost millions in revenue this year, and can’t afford to lose out again. Michael has previously warned that a second cancellation would cause them to “seriously go bankrupt”.

“As long as we can make a firm call either way well in advance, then we’ll be ok,” says Emily. “The next few weeks are going to be crucial, really. They’ll hopefully give us a much better idea of what is and isn’t going to be possible.”

Earlier this month (December 13), Emily Eavis also called for the government to provide financial support to music festivals, amid uncertainty about whether they’ll run next summer. “If the government can share the risk by offering direct financial support, then it gives everyone the opportunity to move forward with the planning in the hope that things will be safe to run in the summer,” she says, “and in the knowledge that backing is available if we’re simply not in a position to go ahead.”