The Covid-19 outbreak has caused many disruptions in the music industry as well as cancellations of gigs and festivals. Yesterday, Monday 23rd March, brought news that Brighton’s The Great Escape Festival has been called off.
The event was due to run from 13th-16th May in 2020, and the line-up was full of many talented artists including Hayley Williams, Gang Of Youths, and Aitch as the Spotlight act. This was to be the festival’s 15th year running, but was sadly cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. Event organisers posted a statement to the official website and social media, explaining the situation to ticket-holders. The post read “We are very sorry to have to say that The Great Escape 2020 will no longer be taking place this year. We’ve not taken this decision lightly.”
Important information regarding TGE20 pic.twitter.com/9UrtMp02I3
— The Great Escape (@thegreatescape) March 23, 2020
They went on to offer fans help with obtaining a refund, saying that they should receive it from the ticket retailer or record store from which they purchased tickets. Alternatively, ticket-holders can carry it over to next year, when the festival will restart on 12th-15th May 2021.
Fans were saddened by the news, but supported the decision to maintain everyone’s safety. Some asked whether artists from this year’s line-up would perform next year instead, to which The Great Escape replied “We will have a new line up for TGE 2021.”
Since the festival began in 2006, previous years have seen the likes of Foals, Sam Fender, and Lewis Capaldi. The Great Escape is an incredible platform for upcoming artists and an opportunity to connect with fans, marketing itself as “the festival for new music”.
Festival organisers had previously shared their concern regarding the virus with an official statement that read “At this time, all shows and events are going ahead as planned. Please be assured that the safety and health of all staff and visitors is our main priority and we are implementing recommendations and instructions appropriately.”
It went on to say “We are closely monitoring official guidance from the World Health Organisation, Public Health England, UK Government, local public health authorities and are working with event promoters and organisers as information evolves.”
The cancellation follows many others, including Glastonbury, Snowbombing, and Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Artists have had to call off or postpone tours, such as Stormzy, Lana Del Rey, and The Who, to name a few. In place of live gigs, some artists have been using social media to live-stream at-home concerts in the hopes of uniting people in this uncertain time. Fans can also watch a celebration of Glastonbury on BBC.