Glastonbury 2021 might involve mass coronavirus testing

Founder Michael Eavis is determined the event will go ahead.

by Jenna Mahale
22 October 2020, 1:48pm

Seven months into the coronavirus pandemic and, let’s face it, we’re really not much closer to the ‘old normal’ than when Miss Rona first darkened our doors. So, adjustments have had to be made. One of said adjustments, in the arena of large-scale live events, is increasingly looking to be the introduction of “massive testing arrangements” to keep attendees safe from contracting the novel coronavirus -- a reality that festival organisers like Glastonbury’s Michael and Emily Eavis are trying desperately to work around. 

Glastonbury Festival was forced to cancel its June 2020 date this year back in March, shafting plans to celebrate the legendary gathering’s 50th anniversary — with i-D cover star Kendrick Lamar headlining — back a full year to 2021. (Ah 2021, the halcyon year of the uncertain future.) While festivals’ co-organisers have previously suggested that the year 2022 might be a more distinct possibility for the festival’s return, they have made clear they are “still very much aiming” for next June.

The possibility of mass testing at Glastonbury, says founder Michael Eavis, is a hopeful one in terms of the festival happening in 2021. “The testing is going so well now, there could be massive testing arrangements,” he said during an event last night. 

“Do we want to test 200,000 people three times – when they leave their home, when they’re halfway here, and when they get to the [festival] gate – so that we’re clear of COVID?” Yes Michael, that actually sounds like a great idea!