READING AND Leeds Festival will go ahead this summer after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, it's been confirmed.
The music festival is happening this August bank holiday after Boris Johnson announced that all Covid rules will end after June 21.
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Up until now, festival organisers had stayed under the radar with their plans for a 2021 event.
But following the Government’s roadmap announcement that all lockdown restrictions will be lifted in June, they confirmed this year’s festival will happen.
Confirming the 2021 events would go ahead, the official Twitter account wrote this afternoon: "Reading and Leeds 2021.
"Following the government's recent announcement, we can't wait to get back to the fields this summer.
The festival, known for its mix of rap, rock, and pop music which attracts thousands of Brits from across the country, will take place from August 27 – 29 this year.
The Reading and Leeds lineup so far features six headliners, including Stormzy, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Post Malone, Disclosure and Liam Gallagher.
Acts including Charli XCX, Yungblud, rapper Jack Harlow, rockers Neck Deep and Norwegian singer-songwriter Sigrid were also recently added to the bill.
But the lineup is far from finished, as the festival says there are "many more" to be announced.
And the official website to buy tickets for the weekend seems to have already crashed, following the bombshell announcement.
FIELD OF DREAMS
One keen festival-goer wrote on Twitter: "Holy f****** s**t this is actually happening."
But others have been more cautious – asking whether there will be Covid testing for all visitors on entrance.
It's currently not clear what coronavirus precautions festival organisers will take and how they will be implemented.
But despite the uncertainty, some Brits have gone full steam ahead in a bid to make their summer out of lockdown one to remember.
Twitter user Emily wrote: "Just booked tickets in hope that we’ll be able to go. Optimistic or stupid?!"
Another keen Brit said: "Good thing I booked it off work just in case."
The events take place simultaneously at sites in Reading and Leeds on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend – sharing the same bill and lineup.
Festival-goers can opt to camp on the grounds or they can buy day tickets to see the live performances.
In 2019, a record number of 105,000 attended the festival – with over 200 artists performing at both locations.
Boris Johnson outlined his plan for unlocking the nation on Monday- which will start in just two weeks' time.
Big events like concerts and sporting events can go ahead after May 17 – with limits on the number of people allowed to attend.
But the key date everyone is waiting for is June 21, when all other restrictions will be lifted.
Lockdown will officially end on this date and restrictions on social contact will be lifted – meaning that mass events are allowed to take place.
From then on, nightclubs will be allowed to reopen, along with theatre performances.
It is also hoped restrictions on weddings will be scrapped, with a decision due to be taken nearer the time based on the numbers of deaths and the success of the vaccination rollout.
And by the time the festival happens – all adults in Britain should have been vaccinated.
Every adult in the UK could receive both doses of a Covid vaccine by August, or even “sooner if needed,” the head of the vaccine taskforce has said.
Clive Dix, who is in charge of the taskforce which identifies and buys vaccines for the UK government, added he was sure there would not be any problems with supply.
The UK festival circuit has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic with its 2020 season effectively wiped out.
In January Glastonbury was cancelled for a second successive year after organisers said they had tried to "move heaven and earth".
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has launched an inquiry into the future of festivals.
Last month the committee wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to ask him to extend Government-backed insurance schemes to music and performing arts festivals.
Festivals added £1.76 billion in gross value to the economy in 2019, with almost one in three Brits watching Glastonbury on TV.
More to follow…
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