Latitude Festival 2021 to Take Place as Government Test
Organisers have announced that Latitude Festival will take place at full capacity, as one of the UK government’s test events. Find out more here!
In a bid to revive the UK’s music festival scene, the government has added Latitude Festival to its Event Research Programme (ERP). This comes after music events in Liverpool, including a performance from Blossoms, and the Download Festival pilot.
Download Festival welcomed 10,000 festival-goers, as opposed to the usual 111,000, on the 18th June. But, Latitude Festival is set to open its gates on the 22nd July to a crowd 40,000 strong. The four-day event has been granted its full capacity, as part of an investigation into how large-scale music events can safely take place, post-pandemic.
Headliners to play Suffolk’s Henham Park include Wolf Alice, The Chemical Brothers, Bastille, and Bombay Bicycle Club.
Festival director, Melvin Benn took to Twitter to share that he and his team “have been working extremely hard to make sure that Latitude Festival can go ahead safely at full capacity.”
Ticket holders will gain entry to Latitude via two methods. Either, by producing a negative result from a lateral flow test, taken within 48 hours of the event, or proof of full vaccination. To meet these criteria, the second vaccination must have been administered at least 14 days before the opening day of the event.
Are ERPs Helping?
The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden also stated his department were “working flat out to find a way to get festivals back up and running safely”. He also expressed excitement at the opportunity for Latitude Festival to help build on the success of the Download Festival pilot.
However, there has been much unrest within the industry. This is due to the unexplained withholding of findings from the ERPs. Many large music festivals are having to cancel, or take big risks, due to the guessing-game state of things.
The thirst for live music and events has been felt by many, with Melvin Benn explaining:
“Restarting festivals is crucially important to the wellbeing of everyone in society, and we hope that Latitude will be the first of many festivals to take place this summer.”
Signs from previous pilot events suggest a positive outcome. But, without the releasing of official findings, it is difficult for festivals to make informed, financially-secure decisions. The lack of explanation for the delay in providing results has, understandably, sparked anger and frustration.
After legal threats from the music industry, the UK government announced that results would be published “shortly”.
With things being taken down to the wire, all we can do is hope that it isn’t too late.
Feature Image Credit: Matt Eachus