Coronavirus: How Covid-19 could affect your festival plans this summer

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In the last week, two of America’s biggest festivals have been disrupted because of fears over the coronavirus.

Coachella, set to be headlined by Travis Scott, Rage Against the Machine and Frank Ocean, has been pushed back to October instead of taking place in April, as originally planned.

It follows Texas-based South by Southwest – an important festival for new artists from around the world looking for success in the US – being cancelled.

Tours are pretty much non-existent across Asia and Italy at the moment, with gatherings of more than 1,000 people being postponed in Switzerland, France and several major cities in Germany.

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Glastonbury’s organisers say they’ll continue to “review” their plans. Taylor Swift is due to headline

No festivals or shows in the UK have been called off yet, but the government hasn’t ruled out banning large events as cases of the virus continue to rise.

Glastonbury festival organisers have told Radio 1 Newsbeat they’re closely monitoring the situation but the festival is still going ahead.

The festival’s head of event operations Adrian Coombs said they “thoroughly plan” each year’s event, and “put in place all necessary measures to protect the public and maximise safety”.

The latest update from Festival Republic, which puts on events including Reading and Leeds, Wireless, Download and Latitude, says none of its events will be affected.

Currently, Radio 1’s Big Weekend, which is due to take place 22-24 May, is also going ahead as planned.

Scroll down to see an updated list of major festivals in the UK and their response to the coronavirus spread so far.

There’s a looming sense of uncertainty for people who’ve bought tickets – but cancellations could also have a big impact on the artists booked to perform at them.

‘Everyone’s losing money’

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Becky Hill is due to appear at Coachella

“Everyone’s going to be affected I think… everyone’s losing money,” Becky Hill tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

The singer is due to appear at Coachella with Matoma and is currently supporting The Script on their European arena tour.

She says there are concerns of “potential gigs being cancelled” in places like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Brussels and Hamburg.

“The thing that’s worrying is that insurance won’t cover it.

“Festivals and shows are our bread and butter… it’s the part of our job where you can potentially make some money.”

Becky stresses it’s not just the artist who misses out on a day’s work, it’s a whole crew.

“If we lose shows that I’ve already booked a tour bus for and a band for and x, y and z… I lose that money.

“Us booking the band means they couldn’t take another job where corona hasn’t necessarily affected their their work.”

‘I hope fans know how awful this is’

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King Nun were due to play some headline shows at SXSW

The impact of cancelled shows ripples through to emerging talent, too.

London’s King Nun had been planning their trip to SXSW for months with five “incredibly important” shows lined up as well as meetings with “a bunch of industry people” to try to boost their profile in America.

“That’s unfortunately fallen apart now,” says frontman Theo Polyzoides, who estimates the band are set to lose “thousands” in cancelled flights and accommodation.

“I hope music fans know how financially awful this is for the band they care about.

“I also hope it means they’ll involve themselves in local music scenes more than they did before.”

Is my festival affected?

Here’s a list of major UK festivals this summer – we’ll be updating this as we hear from festival organisers.


Great Escape – no update

Radio 1’s Big Weekend – no planned changes

All Points East – no update


Isle of Wight Festival has released a statement saying the festival is going ahead as planned.

Download: Going ahead as planned.

Lovebox – no update

Parklife – no update

Glastonbury: “Glastonbury Festival thoroughly plans each year’s event, and puts in place all necessary measures to protect the public and maximise safety… with our 2020 Festival still 16 weeks away, we continue to plan and prepare for the event, whilst at the same time closely monitoring developments with the coronavirus situation.”


British Summer Time – no planned changes.

Wireless: Going ahead as planned.

TRNSMT – no update

Latitude: Going ahead as planned.

Camp Bestival says the festival is going ahead as planned. It told Newsbeat: “We are excited to welcome everyone to the event in 20 weeks. Safety of our artists, fans, and staff is always our top priority and planned for accordingly.”


Creamfields – no update

Reading and Leeds: Going ahead as planned.

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