8 things we know about Glastonbury 2021 as event hangs in balance (2022)

Glastonbury Festival 2021 is still going ahead as planned, despite the "huge uncertainty" surrounding live music amid the coronavirus pandemic, Emily Eavis has said.

The festival organiser recently revealed she and her staff are "doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare" for a full show, but added that "we're still quite a long way from being able to say we're confident 2021 will go ahead".

This comes amid "so many unknowns and factors which are completely out of our control", Emily told the BBC.

Despite the event still hanging in the balance, there are some things we do know about Glastonbury Festival 2021.

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1) A small ticket resale is still planned for April 2021

Currently, a small number of tickets are planned to be sold in a resale in April 2021.

Although the festival was sold out in October 2019, a small number of people have asked for a refund due to the cancelled 2020 event.

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Organiser Emily Eavis wrote on Twitter: "We’ve moved our ticket resale back from October to April, because so few people have asked for a refund (next year’s festival remains sold out), meaning we don’t have enough tickets to resell.

"Plus, we’ve extended the free cancellation deadline until the end of January."

2) Whatever happens, the festival is not moving to September

Glastonbury Festival is still planned to go ahead in June, despite rumours the event could be moved to September.

In August this year, there was speculation the event could be postponed - with a final decision taken in January next year - if organisers were not confident it could definitely go ahead in the summer.

But, writing on Twitter, Emily Eavis confirmed there were no plans to host the festival on any other weekend apart from its usual slot at the end of June.

She wrote: "For those who have been asking, we have no plans to move next year’s Glastonbury to September 2021 - we’re still very much aiming for June."

3) It's likely we'll know by March 2021 whether the festival is going ahead

Ben Challis, a lawyer for Glastonbury Festival, has previously said that due to the complexity of the huge construction operation for Glastonbury, which is more than 1000 acres when completed, the festival needs to begin it's build process in March for a June festival.

Speaking about the cancellation of the 2020 event in March this year, he said: "We had just announced the first 60 acts on the Thursday, and then the weekend after Boris Johnson made his speech saying there was going to be a lockdown, and we were about to start our build, so we had a few days of extremely difficult conversations.

"We cancelled early compared to everyone else because of our build phase, and I got some criticism from other festivals, who were asking, 'why have you cancelled?'

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"They said, 'it doesn't look good for the festival sector as a whole', but there was no realistic hope for us to start the build, and even if it had all cleared up by May, it would have been too late for us."

4) Festival-goers could be tested for coronavirus three times

Michael Eavis has suggested music fans could be tested three times for coronavirus at Glastonbury Festival 2021 if it goes ahead.

The festival founder has spoken about potential measures that could be put in place to keep the event safe.

At Wells Festival of Literature in October, Mr Eavis spoke about COVID-19 testing that could be put in place at the festival.

He said: "Next year, we are not sure about, but the testing is going so well now. There could be massive testing arrangements.

"Do we we want to test 200,000 people three times? When they leave their home, when they are halfway here and when they get to the gates, so that we are clear of COVID-19 for 200,000 people? It is quite a tall order really."

5) It's possible one or more of the planned 2020 headliners could be back on the bill

Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift were due to headline the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival 2020.

Speaking about if the trio could be re-booked for 2021, Emily Eavis told the BBC : "I certainly hope they'll be coming at some point!

"Again, it's much too soon for us to be able to confirm line-up for 2021, but we were so pleased with our line-up for 2020 and I really hope all three of those headliners will be here at the farm before too long.

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And Ben Challis, general counsel at the festival, has previously said: "The plan would be to re-book the 2020 bill and then move everything, including our 50th year celebrations, to 2021."

6) But Lionel Richie probably won't be there...

After a hugely popular Pyramid Stage performance in 2015, many will be hoping Lionel Richie will be back at Worthy Farm again some day.

The global superstar is set to perform in Bristol on June 21 2021, which would be the Monday of Glastonbury Festival week.

This prompted some to speculate he could be lining up another Worthy Farm set in 2021.

However, the singer-songwriter is also due to play in Germany on both the Friday and the Saturday of the festival weekend, making a return seem unlikely, although not impossible...

7) And Ellie Goulding says its 'not time' for her to headline

Ellie Goulding has said she believes she has what it takes to top the bill at the legendary event one day, but is willing to wait for the opportunity.

The singer said earlier this year she thinks her "energetic" performances could "hold the crowd" for a headline slot.

Speaking to The Sun, she said: "I’ve headlined at so many festivals, but I think at some point it’s your time, and I just don’t think it’s my time.

"But I think it will be in the future. I’m convinced I’ve got a lot more in me to go, so maybe in another ten years. I would always put on a good show.

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"I always do my very best and my performances are renowned for being pretty energetic.

"I think I could hold the crowd."

8) Even if the full show is axed, performances could still be live-streamed from Pilton

Emily Eavis has also revealed that if a full show cannot take place in 2021, performances from Worthy Farm could sill be live-streamed online.

The festival organiser said she has been watching some live music streams and virtual gigs during the pandemic, and revealed it is something that is on the radar at Glastonbury Festival.

"I absolutely loved Dua Lipa's one," she said.

"It was designed by the team behind Block9, one of our late-night areas, and it really captured that proper club feel.

"It had us dancing around in the living room, by the fire. It really set the bar for live streams, I think, and I heard five million people tuned in, which is huge.

"There's a unique feeling that comes with sharing a music event online with millions of others, knowing everyone else is stuck at home too. It's a new sensation, the 2020 version of gigs, and I think we've needed those connections.

"We're actually looking into the possibility of streaming some things from here if we can't run the full show next year.

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"We really want to get busy with planning some gigs - even if they're to be streamed!"


Why is Glastonbury Festival so successful? ›

Glastonbury Festival is superbly organised - it has to be when a city appears seemingly out of nowhere in some Somerset fields for the summer. But it's also retained an authentic feel, and a connection to its routes. As the festival celebrates 50 years, its history has become a huge part of its charm and appeal.

What are the aims and objectives of Glastonbury Festival? ›

The Glastonbury Festival aims to encourage and stimulate youth culture from around the world in all its forms, including pop music, dance music, jazz, folk music, fringe theatre, drama, mime, circus, cinema, poetry and all the creative forms of art and design, including painting, sculpture and textile art.

How much does a Glastonbury headliner get paid? ›

Headline stars at UK festivals can usually earn upwards of £1million per set.

What is Michael Eavis salary? ›

Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury Festival is reportedly worth £1.2million. The philanthropist who charged £1 per ticket at the first-ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970, pays himself an annual salary of just £60,000.

Why do people enjoy Glastonbury? ›

Glastonbury Festival is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world and a template for all the festivals that have come after it. The difference is that Glastonbury has all the best aspects of being at a festival in one astonishing bundle.

What is the goal of festival? ›

Festivals are the most effective way for communities to flaunt their cultural expressions. Besides, festivals are of economic value to the communities in which they are hosted. As a result, they constitute an economic activity whose importance to the economic development of the host communities is immense.


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