Festivals And Big Shows Could Return After Easter

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says COVID-19 vaccines could see a return to normality by April…

Festivals And Big Shows Could Return After Easter
Nick Ruskell

The signs are looking positive for next summer’s festivals and stadium shows, after Health Secretary Matt Hancock reckoned life returning almost to normal by April. His comments came as he spoke about a COVID-19 vaccination program that could start as early as next month, following the development and successful trials of vaccines by Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford University.

“The bulk of the vaccine rollout programme will be in January, February, March, and we hope that some time after Easter things will be able to start to get back to normal,” he told BBC Breakfast.

The government have ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, subject to being approved for public use, as well as 40 million of the Pfizer jab.

For shows and touring, this is a game-changer which could more or less guarantee that next summer’s fun goes ahead. Download, Reading & Leeds, Slam Dunk, 2000trees, ArcTanGent, Bloodstock and other festivals already have line-ups and dates booked for 2021, while stadium gigs from Guns N’ Roses, Rammstein, My Chemical Romance, and Green Day’s Hella Mega Tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy have also been rescheduled.

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Even without a vaccine, festival organisers were confident that the summer’s party could go on, with Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis proposing a mass-testing programme to keep punters safe, while Reading & Leeds top dog Melvin Benn predicted that testing would be so effective by August that the whole shebang would be almost normal.

Download booker Andy Copping also recently told Kerrang! how the lack of shows is affecting bands who can't work as they normally would.

“We’re frustrated about not going to shows, but the bands themselves are super-frustrated about not being able to play – that’s what they do for a living!" he said. "Yeah, they’re writing songs and just spent the past three-and-a-half months sat in their houses, but most bands make their money being on the road so they wanna get out there. I’m hoping we see some kind of light at the end of this hideous tunnel and we get back to live music sooner rather than later.”

Download is booked for June 4-6 2021, with KISS, Biffy Clyro and System Of A Down headlining.

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