The organisers of Glastonbury Festival have made a plea to the UK government for more financial protection if the 2021 festival is unable to go ahead.
Organiser Emily Eavis and her father Michael Eavis – the event's founder – were forced to cancel the festival's 50th anniversary in June owing to the coronavirus pandemic, pushing the celebrations to 2021.
However, with the pandemic ongoing and uncertainty over the timeline of the vaccine roll-out across the UK, it is not yet clear whether the June 2021 festival will go ahead as planned.
"In a usual planning cycle we would already be well into organising the next festival," Emily, 41, told The Sunday Times.
“The best solution would be for the government to offer … direct financial support in the event of Glastonbury, and other events, being forced to cancel once they’re well into the preparations.”
Glastonbury Festival, which first took place on Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset in 1970, is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious festivals, with 200,000 revellers attending each year, and acts such as The Rolling Stones, Adele, Beyonce and David Bowie headlining the legendary Pyramid Stage.
The UK government has pledged more than £1 billion ($1.342 billion) to support the country’s cultural institutions and organisations throughout the pandemic.
Emily added: "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, and in the knowledge that backing is available if we're simply not in a position to go ahead."
In response, the UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, said: "We know these are challenging times for the live events sector and are working flat out to support it.
“We have invested £1bn so far through the culture recovery fund to protect tens of thousands of creative jobs … with £400m more support still to come.”