Staples of the UK’s summer live music season, the Reading and Leeds festivals, are confirmed to be returning this August, on the bank holiday weekend of August 27-29. Stormzy, Post Malone, and Liam Gallagher are among the acts confirmed for the festivals.
The news comes after the release of England’s “roadmap” out of lockdown, which predicts that the government will remove all legal limits on social contact by June 21.
In a post celebrating the news, the Reading and Leeds festivals Twitter page posted, “Following the government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer. LET’S GO.”
Bosses in charge of the festivals have yet to confirm detailed plans for the events, including whether social distancing measures and temperature checks will be incorporated into the organization of this year’s festivals.
The last time the Reading and Leeds festivals were held was in 2019, with an attendance of 100,000 people per day at the Reading site alone. While the news that social distancing measures will be removed by mid-summer this year was welcomed, many festivals have stated that they need more assurances from the government to allow them to go ahead with plans.
A gruelling year
2020 was a gruelling year for the music industry, and the worst hit were those people involved in the organization and running of live events such as festivals and gigs. In 2019 The Guardian reported that the UK’s live music industry was worth an enormous £1.1bn.
As part of England’s roadmap, outdoor performances with a maximum of 4,000 people will be allowed from May 17 as part of Step Three. However this plan, and anything related to the lifting of measures, is dependent on coronavirus cases, deaths, and hospital admissions continuing to fall.
Speaking ahead of the Reading and Leeds announcement, chief executive of the Association of Independent Festivals Paul Reed told Sky News: “We need urgent intervention on insurance. We’re very appreciative to have a ‘no earlier than date.’ But if festivals are to go ahead, we need that intervention before the end of March.”