While some have been vocal and some haven’t, COVID-19 has taken a toll on every single aspect of the music industry.
Especially when it comes to music festivals, they run on tight budgets, and going a full year without being able to host any events, can jeopardize the future of the event.
Since it began in 1970, Glastonbury is one of the largest and longest-running major music festivals. But even for a festival that large, the pandemic has posed its fair share of struggles. The festival organizers Michael and Emily Eavis spoke with The Guardian on its 50th anniversary and discussed the future of the festival. Putting it bluntly, Michael said, “We have to run next year, otherwise we would seriously go bankrupt … It has to happen for us, we have to carry on. Otherwise, it will be curtains. I don’t think we could wait another year.”
Emily went on to say they would be in “very serious situation if we had to cancel next year’s event, but then the whole live industry will be hanging in the balance if we have another summer without festivals, and we don’t know what level of government support there will be for this industry”.
In addition to the festival, Glastonbury also funds a number of charitable initiatives. Among other things, they spend a significant amount of the money they generate to fund causes such as environmental initiatives and building social housing. They will remain committed to these causes despite the 2020 edition of the festival being cancelled.
On a more positive note, Emily revealed that they have navigated choppy waters numerous times and the festival will evolve to make it through. She also revealed that they have “drafted and modelled four different [contingency] plans for next year” without divulging too many details.