Council Puts Breaks on Reading Festival 2021: “Nothing Has Been Agreed”

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Reading Borough Council has played down suggestions that Reading Festival will go ahead this summer.

After the government announced they hope to lift all remaining restrictions by 21 June at the earliest, Festival Republic– the organisers of Reading and Leeds Festival– made an announcement on 24 February:

The government’s plan would mean that larger events, such as festivals, can go ahead and nightclubs can reopen. However, councillor Graeme Hoskin, speaking at Reading’s Covid-19 Outbreak Engagement Board meeting on 26 February, revealed “nothing has been agreed”.

 “What’s become apparent from comments on social media and people contacting the council is that some people are under the impression that the council has approved Reading Festival taking place this summer. That is not the case. Reading has not, and nor has anyone else, agreed anything. But, certainly, the announcement is the intention of Reading Festival to happen”.

Graeme Hoskin – Reading Councillor

Following Festival Republic’s announcement, the event sold out. However, Festival Republic director, Melvin Benn told The Guardian they do not yet have insurance for the event as it is currently impossible to buy, but he added he is hopeful the government would include some form of insurance package in the budget.

Reading Festival is due to take place on August bank holiday weekend from 27 August to 29 August in Richfield Avenue. Headline acts include Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Post Malone, Catfish And The Bottlemen and Disclosure. Charli XCX, Yungblud, and Jack Harlow have all recently been added to the line-up.

Festivals added £1.76 billion in gross value to the economy in 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK festival circuit hard, with the 2020 season wiped out.

Words by Anna Brocklehurst


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