European Music Festivals Announce They Will Go Ahead Despite Virus
Mar 25, 2020 | by Will Mitchell
More than 60 European music festivals have released a joint statement pledging their commitment to going ahead in the summer, in face of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.
The statement, Barcelona's Primavera Sound shared on Twitter, notes the importance of social distancing whilst also emphasising the role that music festivals play in our communities.
"We must take care of our community by not being together"
"As festivals we know what community means to people. We are behind events that, if anything, are a celebration of life and togetherness" the post reads, "Every summer, we stand face to face with the difference that the community does for the individual and for all people. And we see the importance of music, art and culture in this context".
Numerous music festivals have been forced to cancel or postpone their events this year, including some of the world's biggest and best. The UK's Glastonbury festival was called off just a week after the lineup came out, whereas Ultra Music Festival, Coachella and Bonnaroo have all had to move to a later date.
Can summer be saved?
Most of the festivals who signed the joint statement are scheduled to take place in June or July, and are hopeful that we can flatten the curve before doors are due to open.
"We are monitoring the situation closely, and we are all, as always, cooperating closely with the authorities and the emergency services to ensure the best and safest environment for the festival community."
The statement also points out that as the whole music industry suffers, it's the "smaller players" (artists, venues and so on) who will be worst affected and who need these events the most. "They suffer so much that they may not be able to recover if they are not given the opportunity to be a part of festivals like ours".
However, several fans on social media have been critical of the festivals' decision, saying they are risking the health of fans for the sake of money.
It remains to be seen whether or not all of the festivals signed up will actually go ahead.