Live Nation has axed major UK festivals Download and the Isle of Wight Festival due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Organisers of both events said ticketholders will be offered refunds or the option to use their pass to next year’s event

Download, which was scheduled to take place June 12-14, said in a statement: “This decision hasn’t been taken lightly and we’re beyond disappointed, we extend our heartfelt apologies to all of you – we really did try to make this work. Please rest assured we will be back next year.”

Download, which is held at Donnington Park in Derbyshire, welcomed more than 80,000 people in 2019, while the Isle of Wight saw 59,000 punters descend on Newport.

The rock festival had booked System of a Down, KISS and Iron Maiden to perform, while the Isle of Wight would have hosted Lewis Capaldi, Lionel Richie and the Black Eyed Peas.

The Isle of Wight festival, which was to take place June 11-14, said: “The safety of our audience, artists, crew and the Isle of Wight community is paramount and we appreciate your patience whilst we’ve been working through this unprecedented situation.

“We’ll be back stronger than ever in 2021 and we hope to see you all again next year.”

The news follow’s last week’s announcement that Glastonbury Festival, which was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, was cancelled. The UK’s flagship music festival has also offered 2020 ticket holders the chance to roll their deposits over to next year or obtain a refund through See Tickets.

The 2020 edition of the largest greenfield festival in the world, originally scheduled to take place in June at Worthy Farm, was expecting more than 210,000 punters after an agreed increase from last year.

Updates on other Live Nation UK festivals have not yet been released. Its portfolio includes the dual Reading and Leeds Festivals set to take place from August 27-30, Manchester’s Parklife on June 13, and London’s Wireless Festival on July 3-5.

Image: Andy Harbach