In May, Mendip district council granted a licence allowing for up to 50,000 attendees – a quarter of the usual festival capacity – with no camping. Eavis said the event would have been called Equinox. In May, she told the Guardian that the lineup was fully booked and that as soon as government scientists gave the all-clear, the organisers would put tickets on sale.
Posting on Instagram on Tuesday, Eavis said: “We’ve decided not to go ahead with the September gig idea for a number of reasons.”
Glastonbury offered no further comment. Last month, the Association of Independent festivals said that 51% of UK festivals had been cancelled for summer 2021 owing to uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic and the government’s refusal to back an insurance scheme for such events.
Norfolk dance music festival Houghton announced its cancellation this week, blaming the so-called “ping apocalypse” notifying individuals they must isolate after being exposed to a Covid-positive case. “It has the ability to reduce or remove a substantial amount of the workforce at any point with a simple ping,” organisers said in a statement.
Instead of the one-day event, said Eavis, the Glastonbury team were focusing on the family campsite which is due to open on Worthy Farm this week. There will be no music at Worthy Pastures, and a noise curfew of 11pm; instead, there will be food traders, bars and a “village store” selling local produce and freshly baked bread.
The cancellation of the mooted September event will disappoint festival-goers who have been unable to return to Worthy Farm since 2019. The main festival was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 fdue to the pandemic.
Glastonbury staged a ticketed, on-site livestream featuring artists such as Thom Yorke, Coldplay, Haim and Michael Kiwanuka in May to raise much-needed revenue after the festival lost £5m from cancelling in 2020. However, the broadcast was blighted by technical issues, leaving many fans unable to access the stream.