Glastonbury Festival 2020 has been cancelled by organisers amid the effects of the ongoing spread of novel coronavirus COVID-9.
The world-famous Somerset festival, attended by more than 200,000 people, will not take place this year, it has been confirmed today (March 18).
The Pilton event was set to welcome superstars Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar as headliners for its 50th anniversary celebrations in June.
Organisers Michael and Emily Eavis posted on Twitter apologising to music fans, while also revealing some details about how tickets would work for a rearranged event in 2021.
Full statement from Glastonbury Festival as 2020 event called off due to coronavirus
The statement reads:
We are so sorry to announce this, but Glastonbury 2020 will have to be cancelled, and this will be an enforced fallow year for the Festival.
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.
We very much hope that the situation in the UK will have improved enormously by the end of June. 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 would like to send our sincere apologies to the 135,000 people who have already paid a deposit for a Glastonbury 2020 ticket. The balance payments on those tickets were due at the beginning of April and we wanted to make a firm decision before then.
We understand that it is not always easy to secure a Glastonbury ticket, which is why we would like to offer all those people the chance to roll their £50 deposit over to next year, and guarantee the opportunity to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2021. Those who would prefer a refund of that £50 will be able to contact See Tickets in the coming days in order to secure that. This option will remain available until September this year. For those who are happy to roll their deposit over, that will happen automatically. Further information – including details on rolling over coach packages, official accommodation bookings and local Sunday tickets – will be added to our website in the coming days.
The cancellation of this year’s Festival will no doubt come as a terrible blow to our incredible crew and volunteers who work so hard to make this event happen. There will also inevitably be severe financial implications as a result of this cancellation – not just for us, but also the Festival’s charity partners, suppliers, traders, local landowners and our community.
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. 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.
Festival staff had been hoping it would still go ahead
On Instagram last week, organiser Emily Eavis wrote that Glastonbury staff were still working hard to deliver the festival and were keeping their fingers “firmly crossed” it would go ahead.
She wrote: “So, after much consideration given the current circumstances, and with the best of intentions, here is the first list of musical acts for Glastonbury 2020.
“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.
“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!
“As always this is just a taste of what is to come, we plan to announce many more artists and attractions, area by area, over the coming weeks leading up to the full line-up in May.
“In the meantime we post this with much love to all.”
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PM tells public to work from home and stop going to the pub
The prime minister told the public to work from home and stay away from pubs, theatres and other social venues in a press conference on Monday.
Boris Johnson acknowledged that these unprecedented lifestyle restrictions had not been seen before in peacetime.
He said: “Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.
“We need people to start working from home where they possibly can.
“And you should avoid pub, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.”
He stopped short of using government powers to ban public gatherings, but is rather relying on the public to follow official advice.
The possibility of closing schools was brought up, but for now, they will remain open.
“Our intervention should be timely to have the right effect,” he said.
“We are keeping all measures under review.
“We think under balance at the moment it is best to keep schools open.”
The UK’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the coronavirus isn’t going away any time soon and protecting people in nursing homes is going to be “one of the most challenging problems for every nation”.
“This is not a two weeks and we’re done – this is a significant period of time,” he said.
The public has specifically been warned to stay away from elderly vulnerable people if possible.
“We don’t want to see people unnecessarily visiting care homes,” Boris Johnson said.
The PM added it is “perfectly obvious” that this is going to be “potentially a severe blow to the economy”.
But he hopes as there is no systemic problem, as in the 2008 crash, that it will only be short-term.
Ultimately saving lives and reducing suffering is the “absolute priority”, the prime minister said.
This content was originally published here.