Music Festivals: Organisers hopeful of 2021 return

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Tramlines/Oli Constable
Image caption,
Tramlines festival could be held in Sheffield this July, if restrictions allow, organisers said

The organiser of a Sheffield music festival has said he would love to put on "the party we all deserve", if restrictions ease in time for summer.

Timm Cleasby from Tramlines festival was speaking after organisers of Reading and Leeds said they were "very confident" of their events going ahead.

In North Yorkshire, Deer Shed festival has also said it will take place.

Under the government's plan, limits on social contact in England could be gone by 21 June.

That would mean many outdoor events could go ahead, including Camp Bestival and Creamfields, which plan to stage their 2021 editions.

Some festival organisers have echoed Conservative MP Julian Knight's calls for the government to offer cancellation insurance.

Mr Knight, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, has asked Chancellor Rishi Sunak to announce extra support for festivals in next week's budget.

Image caption,
The Tramlines event at Hillsborough Park can usually accommodate up to 40,000 people

Mr Cleasby said the measure "would be a massive step in the right direction, because getting cancellation insurance is virtually impossible."

He said his first priority would be the safety of festival-goers and staff, adding: "We don't want to do anything that puts anybody at risk, whether there is a pandemic or not.

"We would love it to be going ahead and to be the party that we all deserve, but we will just have to wait and see," he said.

Tramlines is scheduled to take place from 23 to 25 July at Hillsborough Park.

Tom Oliver, from Deer Shed, said Covid-specific cancellation insurance would be "very helpful", but said plans for the festival would progress cautiously to bring a "July full of fun, within the caveat of safety."

He added they could consider options such as running a reduced capacity event, or holding a similar programme to last year where families were able to camp with their own toilet facilities.

The music, arts, and children's summer festival is due to take place from 24 to 26 July at Baldersby Park, North Yorkshire.

Melvin Benn, who runs Reading and Leeds Festival, has said vaccinations would make holding the festival possible.

"The government are vaccinating everybody and that's how it's going to happen," he said earlier this week.

The event runs over two sites from 27 to 29 August, with headliners to include Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and Queens of the Stone Age.

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