The 2020 Womad festival has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Co-founder Peter Gabriel said its organisers had been “hoping, waiting and watching” the situation to see if the event could proceed in July.
Following government advice and a meeting with the local licensing authority, organisers decided to cancel the festival. “Safety for all of our festival-goers, artists and our staff surpassed everything,” said Gabriel.
Musicians including the Flaming Lips, Angélique Kidjo, Fatoumata Diawara, Kate Tempest and Les Amazones d’Afrique were due to perform at this year’s Womad in Charlton Park, Wiltshire.
Gabriel said many of the artists billed to appear had agreed to play the 2021 edition of the festival and that more information would be announced in due course. “We hope to see you all at Charlton Park next year for a big celebration, when we’ve put this meanie back in the bottle,” he said.
Tickets for the 2020 festival are automatically valid for the 2021 festival, which will take place from 22-25 July. Ticket holders are also eligible for refunds.
Womad is the latest major UK festival to cancel its 2020 plans owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, Glastonbury announced that it would postpone its 50th anniversary celebrations until 2021. Other cancelled events include London’s All Points East, the rock festival Download and the Isle of Wight festival.
Yet many festivals remain on the calendar. British Summer Time Hyde Park has announced that the future of its planned events in London this July – including headline performances by Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar – remains under consultation. Reading and Leeds festivals, due to take place over the August bank holiday weekend, are also billed to proceed.