Glastonbury and Ultra call it quits for 2021, remain hopeful for 2022
As the year 2021 progresses, more and more major festivals from around the world are announcing cancellations and contingency plans. With the announcement of several COVID-19 vaccines on the market, this year has seemed more hopeful than last as major festivals like Coachella and Electric Forest have seen some progress in trying to find a safe time to hold their 2021 festivities. However, other globally popular events like UK’s Glastonbury, and now Ultra Miami, have been outright canceled.
Glastonbury Festival published a statement to Twitter and on their website. The organizers officially canceled what was to be the 50th anniversary of the event, which was set to be headlined by the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, and Kendrick Lamar late in June. Not only is Glastonbury is one of the world’s longest-running annual festivals, but the event in the English countryside also attracts 250,000 attendees, making it one of the largest.
How the festival is handling refunds and deposits is outlined in the statement:
Ultra Festival has traditionally taken place during the final weekend of March in Miami, Florida. The location of the festival, Bayfront Park, is city-owned property and so a clause in the contract that the festival has with the city allows a cancelation in the event of unforeseen natural disasters. The current pandemic meets this criterion, as was the case for the canceled Ultra 2020. While it is known publicly that the festival has anticipated that the city will go this route in 2021 due to communications between the festival and the city, the festival’s organizers are waiting for confirmation that their 2022 dates are secured before an official announcement is made. Presumably, this is due to the refund versus rollover problem that balances customer satisfaction with industry sustainability — a contradiction that resulted in a class-action lawsuit that went to arbitration in November of 2020.
As has been the case with every cancellation or postponement, the festivals promise to come back better than ever, with reason to celebrate when we do get to create the environment and atmospheres that nourish our creative souls in one way or another. Whether or not festival organizers can sustain themselves in the meantime to continue the tradition waits to be decided.
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