Threats of cancelled festivals loom as the music giant Glastonbury pulls the plug for a second year running.
COVID-19 has rocked the world and almost all industries without exception. Arts and entertainment are some of the worst-hit sectors, with business halted almost entirely for the span of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the vaccine rollout continues to gather speed across the Emerald Isle, many punters, entertainment moguls, and decision-makers alike ask the big question: will summer music festivals go ahead in Ireland this year?
Getting around the unavoidable – when will we be able to meet en masse?
When the COVID-19 pandemic first took the stronghold back in early 2020, it became the general consensus that by Christmastime, we’d be seeing the back of it. Unbeknownst to us all at that point, the coronavirus crisis would be a mighty giant to slay.
As we wade into a new year, there is much hope on the horizon, with worldwide vaccination programmes sharing equal headline space to the case numbers and lockdown restrictions.
Still, however, we face the inevitable question: when we will be able to meet en masse again? This is an unavoidable question regarding the subject of festivals, and one which remains uncertain as it stands.
Déjà vu – 2020 on repeat
It was an all too familiar feeling for ticket holders on 21 January 2021 as organisers of Glastonbury, Michael and Emily Eavis, announced the music and arts event’s cancellation for the second year running.
“In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down,” said the statement that was published on its website, before being quickly regurgitated on media and news platforms across the web.
For those holding their breath in the hopes that the Irish festival circuit will go ahead in 2021, it is a devastating blow to confidence as Irish summer festival cancellations now seem likely.
In a recent Twitter community poll by @TickerPicnic – an account for Electric Picnic 2021 hype – 71.9% of voters believe that the festival will be cancelled due to COVID-19.
Other sources, such as Irish Times and Guardian writer, Dean Van Nguyen, have also posted on social media about their uncertainty of summer festivals going ahead.
“Glastonbury down. I’m stunned that Longitude is still on the calendar for July,” wrote the journalist on 21 January 2020 in the wake of Glastonbury’s statement.
As it stands – what we think now
Hope remains, as MCD promoters continue to speculate that festivals including Longitude – with a line up of Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky – will go ahead. And they are not alone.
Other events including All Together Now, Electric Picnic, Forbidden Fruit, Belsonic, and the family-first Kaleidoscope festival, are all promoting a go-ahead with tickets on-sale and world-class line-ups rolling out.
For others, such as Body & Soul – the leading large-scale indie fest – and Vantastival – targeted as those who love to live ‘van life‘ – information on whether or not they’ll be going ahead is yet to be confirmed.
So, fears of Irish summer festival cancellations still loom as we approach festival season.