The News

How Festivals Could Take Place Next Year

Official music industry bodies in the UK have unveiled COVID-19 guidance for festivals.

While the likes of Download and Reading & Leeds are steaming ahead with huge line-up announcements, there’s been no real information yet regarding the potential guidelines that festival-goers will have to follow when we’re finally (and hopefully) back in those fields next summer. Now, though, a new planning guide has been developed – which will be updated once a month – and could shed some light on how it’ll all work.

Official music industry bodies including the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), the Events Industry Forum (EIF) and Attitude Is Everything have teamed up with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Public Health England (PHE) to formulate this rolling COVID-19 plan – which is introduced as operational planning considerations, to inform further work and planning on how festivals could take place in the future”.

Read this: Why losing Download Festival 2020 hurt more than most

In an extensive 20-page document aimed at all who work in and interact with the music festival sector to facilitate planning considerations and festival activities” everything from crowd considerations’ to site adjustments’ are put under the spotlight. In a section titled COVID-19 safety measures’, it suggests there may be a need to embrace the NHS Test and Trace system and other HMG initiatives in their policies and procedures”, as well as floating the idea that attendees might have to bring their own reusable and recyclable face coverings” and their own hand sanitiser of a suitable quality”. Elsewhere, the possibility (and practicality) of social distancing needs to be considered in the planning of these events, while symptomatic testing at the entry point of the festival could be looked into, too. 

Risk mitigation is what festival promoters do for a living, so the intent of this guidance is to outline COVID-19 specific planning considerations that will allow for bespoke risk assessment approaches in liaison with relevant authorities and agencies,” explains Association of Independent Festivals CEO Paul Reed. 

I’d like to thank the AIF Ops Group for leading on this important piece of work and also DCMS, PHE officials and the wider festival industry for their invaluable contributions.” 

Read the full thing now via The Purple Guide.

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Posted on October 13th 2020, 4:59p.m.
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