Glastonbury Festival Canceled for the Second Year In a Row

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An evening shot of Glastonbury 2011. Photo Credit: jaswooduk

Glastonbury organizers have officially canceled their five-day-long music festival for the second year in a row.

Glastonbury cofounder Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily, who organize the 51-year-old event, announced the cancellation “with great regret” this morning via a formal statement. Last year’s 50th anniversary edition of Glastonbury was put on ice in March of 2020, amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Emily Eavis told supporters earlier this month that she would “let you know right here as soon as we have an update” about 2021’s festival. (Also on January 4th, she responded to rumors that Glastonbury wouldn’t take place in 2021.)

“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,” Michael and Emily wrote this morning to fans of their Pilton, Somerset-based festival, which was last shelved for two or more consecutive years back in the 1970s.

The text doesn’t appear to cite a precise reason for the cancellation, and neither Michael nor Emily elaborated upon the matter in time for publishing. In July of 2020, the two stated that they were already in the process of implementing safety measures for Glastonbury 2021, including pre-entry health screenings and contact-tracing procedures. Plus, the elder Eavis acknowledged that another cancellation would likely mark the end of his festival.

On this front, however, today’s Glastonbury cancellation message wasn’t without positive takeaways, as its authors struck an encouraging tone when addressing the possibility of Glastonbury 2022. “We are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022!” wrote Michael and Emily Eavis.

Many acts who had been booked for Glastonbury 2020, including headliner Paul McCartney, Cage the Elephant, Blur, Diana Ross, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, and Dua Lipa, were reportedly scheduled to play Glastonbury 2021. Additionally, fans who initially purchased Glastonbury passes in October of 2019 can once again roll their £50 ($68.59) deposits over and “guarantee the chance to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2022,” the Glastonbury 2021 cancellation message specified.

Most live music execs expect the full-scale return of traditional concerts and music festivals to arrive in 2021, and the results of a recent study – as well as the continued distribution of COVID-19 vaccines – appear to play well for the possibility.

Moreover, fans have made clear that they’re eager to resume enjoying non-socially distanced gigs. EDC Las Vegas 2021, Day Trip, and other festivals quickly sold out, and Live Nation has indicated in multiple earnings reports that the vast majority of ticketholders are foregoing refunds, opting instead to wait for shows’ rescheduled dates.