The Reading and Leeds Festival website reportedly crashed yesterday (Wednesday) after the organisers became the first to confirm their events would go ahead this year.
Under the UK government’s reopening roadmap, which it announced on Monday, restrictions on social contact in England could be lifted entirely by June 21.
The move has given the twin-site festival organisers confidence to go ahead with the event two months later from August 27 to 29.
The website issue has since been resolved, allowing fans to purchase tickets for the weekender, which has already announced Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and Queens of the Stone Age as headliners.
In normal years, Reading welcomes an audience of 105,000 music fans, while Leeds can take 75,000.
Festival Republic, organisers of Leeds and Reading, one of the UK’s biggest outdoor events, tweeted: “Following the government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer. LET’S GO.”
Greg Parmley, chief executive of Live, a trade body for the live music industry, welcomed the news but said the festival season was still in danger.
He said: “The confirmation that Reading and Leeds music festivals will be taking place in August is a great moment that will give people hope of better times to come.
“The Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday has given some organisers confidence but there is still a large amount of uncertainty ahead of us. With the Government only committing to provide a week’s notice on the lifting of all restrictions, this will mean for many it will just be too late and we will see further cancellations.
“This is why, despite the good news today, the Government must commit to further sector-specific support for our industry in the budget as we start our long road to recovery.”
Many festivals, concerts, shows and sporting fixtures are continuing to reassess the implications of the roadmap, that will see up to 10,000 spectators at seated outdoor events from May 17 and the elimination of restrictions at all indoor and outdoor events by June 21.
The Isle of Wight Festival is scheduled for June 17-20 – just ahead of the proposed full relaxation – and organisers admitted they are considering a change in the wake of the roadmap announcement.
The news follows the announcement last month that Glastonbury has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to COVID-19. Organisers assured ticket holders that, as with last year, their £50 deposit will be rolled over to 2022 to guarantee a chance to buy a ticket for the event. This year’s festival had been set to go ahead from June 23-27.