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Latitude is the latest festival to cancel as a result of COVID-19

By | Published on Tuesday 28 April 2020


Organisers of the Latitude Festival yesterday confirmed that their 2020 edition in July will not now go ahead because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement from Live Nation’s Festival Republic comes as the music community increasingly accepts that the entire 2020 summer festival season is likely to be cancelled. In a number of European countries national or local government statements have already confirmed that large-scale events will not be allowed to return for at least several months, even as other elements of the COVID-19 lockdown are relaxed.

So many festivals have now been forced to cancel because of COVID-19, each new cancellation is no longer really newsworthy – even though for each cancelled event there is a team of people who have worked incredibly hard on shows that will no longer happen.

But Latitude – bringing together, as it does, the worlds of music, comedy, theatre and literature – is another of the landmark events in the British festival calendar, so its cancellation seems notable. Organisers said yesterday “we’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation and it’s become clear that it’s just not possible for this year’s festival to go ahead”.

Adding that ticket agents would be in touch with ticket-holders offering refunds or the option to convert to a 2020 ticket to a 2021 ticket, the organisers’ statement went on: “Our heart goes out to the fans, artists, suppliers, performers, volunteers – our entire Latitude family. Thank you, as ever, for your continued support”.

Another July festival promoted by a Live Nation subsidiary, the Glasgow-based TRNSMT event from DF Concerts, confirmed its cancellation last week. Organisers of that event said: “We did not want to take this step but it is unavoidable. The health and safety of our fans, artists, staff and community will always be our top priority”.

With the summer season pretty much written off, the next question is whether autumn events – including those early-year festivals that were rescheduled for later in the year when the first COVID-19 cancellations began occurring – will be able to go ahead. Meanwhile, the pessimists in the room are speculating what impact all things COVID could have on the 2021 festival season. Which is no fun at all.