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Glastonbury “a long way” from being able to confirm 2021 festival, says Emily Eavis

“We're talking about a situation where the goalposts move weekly and sometimes daily”

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has said that the festival is still “quite a long way” from being able to confirm its return to Worthy Farm in 2021.

Speaking to BBC News, Eavis said: "We're doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare, but I think we're still quite a long way from being able to say we're confident 2021 will go ahead."

Eavis said it was “too early to say” what changes would have to be made to ensure the festival could go ahead because of factors outside of their control: “We're talking about a situation where the goalposts move weekly and sometimes daily.”

Eavis continued: “Clearly the vaccine is being rolled out, and that's great news, but there isn't yet any kind of clarity or consensus on what things will look like in May - when we'd usually have thousands of staff on site - or June, when we'd obviously have the festival.

“Right now, I'm not sure there's anything we could do that would completely ensure we can welcome 200,000 people to spend six days in some fields in June 2021.”

Glastonbury 2020 was due to take place in June this year but was cancelled in March because of COVID-19. 

Earlier this month, Eavis called for “direct financial support” from the government amid ongoing difficulties in obtaining live events cancellation insurance for next summer’s event - with the clock ticking to firm up plans. 

Eavis said: “What we definitely can't afford to risk is getting too far into the process of next year, only for it to be snatched away from us again. We lost millions this year, and we can't risk that happening again.”

Last week, the German government announced a €2.5bn (£2.3bn) event cancellation fund to support the live event and festival sector. “The whole UK festival industry would certainly welcome something similar from our government,” Eavis said. 

At the start of the month, MPs warned in the House of Commons that major UK music festivals including Glastonbury could be prevented from taking place in 2021 unless their insurance is underwritten due to COVID-19. 

While it is still too early to tell if Glastonbury 2021 will go ahead, Eavis confirmed that this year's headliners - including Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar - would all be welcomed back in the future if the festival was cancelled for a second year in a row