Crowd shot at Glastonbury Festival 2019
Photo: Ki Price/Getty Images
Glastonbury 2020 Canceled Due To Coronavirus Pandemic
Glastonbury Festival, one of the leading festivals in the U.K. and one of the premier festival brands in the world, has canceled its 2020 edition due to the growing coronavirus global pandemic.
In a post shared on the festival's official website and social media accounts today (March 18), festival organizers announced the cancellation of this year's event, which was to be Glastonbury's 50th anniversary.
"Clearly this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new government measures announced this week – and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty – this is now our only viable option," the statement read.
"We very much hope that the situation in the UK will have improved enormously by the end of June," the statement continued. "But even if it has, we are no longer able to spend the next three months with thousands of crew here on the farm, helping us with the enormous job of building the infrastructure and attractions needed to welcome more than 200,000 people to a temporary city in these fields."
"We were so looking forward to welcoming you all for our 50th anniversary with a line-up full of fantastic artists and performers that we were incredibly proud to have booked," the statement concluded. "Again, we're so sorry that this decision has been made. It was not through choice. But we look forward to welcoming you back to these fields next year and until then, we send our love and support to all of you."
The statement also alluded to the "severe financial implications" resulting from the festival's cancellation, which comes with an estimated loss of up to 100 million pounds ($117 million), according to The Guardian.
News of Glastonbury's cancellation comes in the wake of "drastic action" and measures enacted and recommended by the U.K. government to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has already caused the cancellation of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, the annual European song and songwriting competition, and the closure of all major British theaters.
Just last week (March 13), festival organizers announced the first wave of artists confirmed for Glastonbury 2020, which was originally set to take place June 24–28 at Worthy Farm, Somerset, U.K. Headliners and major artists included Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Diana Ross, among many other acts.
The lineup announcement came "after much consideration given the current circumstances, and with the best of intentions," according to a statement posted on the Glastonbury website last week (March 12).
"As things stand we are still working hard to deliver our 50th anniversary Festival in June and we are very proud of the bill that we have put together over the last year or so," read the statement. "No one has a crystal ball to see exactly where we will all be 15 weeks from now, but we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that it will be here at Worthy Farm for the greatest show on Earth!"
Ticket-purchasers who have already paid a deposit for a Glastonbury 2020 ticket will have the option of rolling over their deposit to next year's event with a guaranteed "opportunity to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2021," according to the festival's website; rollovers will happen automatically for those who prefer that option. The festival is also offering a refund for deposits until this September, with additional news and further information regarding accommodations, single-day tickets and the like coming soon.
Glastonbury is the latest major festival to be canceled or postponed this year due to the global coronavirus pandemic. This month alone, Coachella and Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival, SXSW, Lollapalooza Argentina, Something In The Water, Treefort Music Fest, Afro Nation Puerto Rico, Brussels' Listen! Festival, Record Store Day and several other major events and festivals around the world were called off or rescheduled due to the coronavirus.