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Glastonbury 2021 cancelled.

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Circa £12m to organise Glastonbury each year.

 

The worlds biggest green field festival so I’d imagine preparations and spending are well along. 
 

We’ll no see big festivals this year. 
 

I even worry for boutique ones like Deer Shed (which is excellent) that will need to be making a tough decision in the next couple of weeks. 
 

Grim times. 

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Considering arrangements for big festivals tend to begin once the previous ones finish 4-6 months doesn't give much time for organisers even if the all-clear was given now.

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There's also the whole quarantine issue which has to make the whole European/UK festival summer circuit a bit of a logistical nightmare, with bands and crew potentially having to isolate for days everytime they move between the UK and Europe.

That's got to make the previous scenario where bands could be playing a couple of festival dates a week all over Europe and the UK throughout the summer impossible.

Edited by Cato
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18 hours ago, Cato said:

I can't see any of the big festivals taking place this year.

 

Likewise. So it looks like what would have been my band's gig of 2020 which was then the gig of 2021 will end up being our gig of 2022, if it survives.

 

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I see the sense in cancelling this early - there would otherwise be a lot of time, effort and expense spend on organising a festival that is unlikely to happen, outside of any deposits and third party costs.  With the prediction that vaccinating the nation will not be complete until late Summer, it's difficult to see how any large festival can operate before then.  There's no way to enforce social distancing, and if there was, the restriction in the number of punters would make it impossible to cover costs

They cancelled quite early last year too - in March, whereas a lot of other festivals clung on for a few week or months longer.  I read an interview with, I think, Festival Republic, saying that they could weather the 2020 cancellations, but if it happened again in 2021 then they'd be in real trouble.  I'm not sure to read this as Glastonbury being very cautious and some might still happen, or simply them dealing with the reality as early as possible, and others will cling on for a bit longer but will follow in due course. 

I have tickets for a couple - Download in June and Bloodstock in August, and was due to go to one of the assorted Camden festivals in, I think, May.  I'm not confident in any of them, but Bloodstock probably stands the best chance.  And I rolled over my tickets from last year to help them out rather than taking a refund - it's not much but it may help

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I just spotted this in the Guardian. It hadn’t occurred to me that these events wouldn’t be insured - they would need communicable disease cover, which they generally don’t take out.

The UK insurance sector isn’t currently offering Covid insurance, so it’s unlikely I guess that anyone will go ahead and organise an event until that’s sorted out. Though how much will it cost, given that nobody really knows what the situation will be in six weeks time, let alone six months time.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/jan/22/government-stalls-on-insurance-scheme-for-uk-music-festivals

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Everyone said the organisers of the Isle of Man were jumping the gun when they said they'd have two years off last year, turns out they were bang on.

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1 minute ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

Everyone said the organisers of the Isle of Man were jumping the gun when they said they'd have two years off last year, turns out they were bang on.

I didn’t know that, it seems pretty sensible though. Why go to the expense of organising anything, if you’re going to need to cancel, and you can’t get insurance?

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The IoM is a special case.  they shut the borders very early on, you can't go to the island unless you are a resident, and even then you have to quarantine, and if you don't it's not a £200 fine, you go to jail.  A mate of mine lives over there and until recently they've had very few restrictions since the first UK lockdown - he's been gigging all year, pubs are open, etc.  Then the kids came home from Uni for Christmas and they've been on lockdown since then because covid came back, but it should be lifted in the next couple of weeks, and is being relaxed a little from this weekend.

They recognised that the tourism industry would be decimated by closing the borders, but they have a low tax rate and a maximum amount of tax that anybody has to pay because they simply don't need more money to run the island!  So they have been able to be very generous in supporting businesses that have been affected, which will have given the TT organisers confidence that they can afford to make a longer term decision because the financial impact is much more limited than for festival organisers on the mainland

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30 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

The IoM is a special case.  they shut the borders very early on, you can't go to the island unless you are a resident, and even then you have to quarantine, and if you don't it's not a £200 fine, you go to jail.  A mate of mine lives over there and until recently they've had very few restrictions since the first UK lockdown - he's been gigging all year, pubs are open, etc.  Then the kids came home from Uni for Christmas and they've been on lockdown since then because covid came back, but it should be lifted in the next couple of weeks, and is being relaxed a little from this weekend.

They recognised that the tourism industry would be decimated by closing the borders, but they have a low tax rate and a maximum amount of tax that anybody has to pay because they simply don't need more money to run the island!  So they have been able to be very generous in supporting businesses that have been affected, which will have given the TT organisers confidence that they can afford to make a longer term decision because the financial impact is much more limited than for festival organisers on the mainland

If only we were an island.

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Would folk subscribe to the view I've heard recently that: "there will be live music, but not I think as we once knew it." 

If you do agree with it** how would you see that view applying to festivals like Glasto and to live music more generally?

 

**for the record I don't - I see it being more the sort of comment that emanates from someone's nether regions after they've had too much of something or other!

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Making music is such a fundamental human activity that I don’t think it will ever stop. 
However, how and where it’s done will evolve and change in ways that we probably can’t predict at the moment. I think, though, that it’s going to become even harder to make money out of playing it. Particularly if we hazard the guess that ticketed or otherwise paid-for live events are off the cards for an undefined period. As for recorded or screened music I’ll use the example of my daughters as consumers. Anyone born after, say 1990 has grown up paying nothing or next to nothing for downloaded or streamed music. The genie is out of the bottle.  So, I think there’s going to be some lean times (years?) for making money from music, music isn’t going to stop.

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7 minutes ago, Len_derby said:

Anyone born after, say 1990 has grown up paying nothing or next to nothing for downloaded or streamed music. The genie is out of the bottle.  So, I think there’s going to be some lean times (years?) for making money from music, music isn’t going to stop.

Is that right though Len? I agree we have access to far more music than ever before but we're actually spending as much on music (e.g. Spotify, concerts etc) as we've ever done, if not more; and we're spending way more on other streaming (Netflix etc) than we did even 20 years ago.

Totally agree with your first point about music being fundamental to who we are.

Edited by Al Krow

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15 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Is that right though Len? I agree we have access to far more music than ever before but we're actually spending as much on music (e.g. Spotify, concerts etc) as we've ever done, if not more; and we're spending way more on other streaming (Netflix etc) than we did even 20 years ago.

Totally agree with your first point about music being fundamental to who we are.

I'm not sure just how much of all that money is going to lambda musicians. :/

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8 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Is that right though Len? I agree we have access to far more music than ever before but we're actually spending as much on music (e.g. Spotify, concerts etc) as we've ever done, if not more; and we're spending way more on other streaming (Netflix etc) than we did even 20 years ago.

Totally agree with your first point about music being fundamental to who we are.

I agree with spending money on concerts. Ticket prices for big names now are eye-watering.

Regards downloads and streaming I might be wrong but I’m thinking of my own experience of buying records in the seventies when I was a teenager. It just feels like the price of an LP represented a bigger slice of my income than downloading would be now. It  would be very interesting to see how the real price of buying music has changed (if it has). The idea of streaming from the internet would, of course, have been a sci-fi concept back then!

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3 minutes ago, Len_derby said:

I agree with spending money on concerts. Ticket prices for big names now are eye-watering.

Regards downloads and streaming I might be wrong but I’m thinking of my own experience of buying records in the seventies when I was a teenager. It just feels like the price of an LP represented a bigger slice of my income than downloading would be now. It  would be very interesting to see how the real price of buying music has changed (if it has). The idea of streaming from the internet would, of course, have been a sci-fi concept back then!

I still have price tickets on CDs and LPs I bought as a teenager in the 90's.

Some albums were £16 which apparently works out to about 30quid today!!!

I don't use streaming websites, but even some of the more esoteric LP albums I buy today barely touch £20.

 

However I have been just looking at Glastonbury ticket prices from the 90's by way of comparison.

it wasn't even £90 by 1999!

what was it in 2019? £250??

 

So yes I agree completely, I bought an album and it was a commitment, but going to the biggest festival in the country didn't seem like such a huge chunk (especially as most of my friends who did go just jumped or went under the fence, but that's a different thread).

The price of a Glastonbury ticket back then was less than half the money spent on recorded music (assuming average 1 album a month).

 

Today someone pays a tenner a month for Spotify, listening to anything and can stream stuff not on Spotify by way of Youtube etc.

There is no financial commitment invested in an individual piece of music.

Their Glastonbury ticket costs double the amount they "spend" on recorded music.

 

Sorry, bit of a stream of consciousness

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Would folk subscribe to the view I've heard recently that: "there will be live music, but not I think as we once knew it." 

If you do agree with it** how would you see that view applying to festivals like Glasto and to live music more generally?

 

**for the record I don't - I see it being more the sort of comment that emanates from someone's nether regions after they've had too much of something or other!

The mercantile aspects will change, I expect. Economies of scale won't operate the way they did even a few years ago. But, as @Woodwind points out above, media and venues keep changing. Glastonbury two years ago was very different from 1990, when I last attended. In those days, I mostly went to the kinds of free festivals that might euphemistically be called "unregulated". I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see a proliferation of countercultural live settings a few years from now, nor to see bands gaining traction through performing in those settings. To be brutal, however, I think it will be a case of phoenix and ashes. Few live venues can realistically get through 2020 and 2021 unscathed, and hardly any would be able to return to status quo ante.

So, "not as we once knew it?" I think that's overstating things -- but "as we once knew it" includes a lot of stuff that happened on the margins and in the cracks of mainstream and established commerce.

Edited by Pseudonym
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