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Primavera, Download festivals cancelled as Isle of Wight moved

Barcelona’s Primavera Sound and the UK’s Download festivals have been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Primavera has been forced to delay its 20th anniversary celebration for another year, despite showing that live music events can be safely held without a rise of infections with its Primacov clinical trial.

The Barcelona festival said in a statement that its milestone event “deserves a party like the ones we are used to, and the global situation does not seem favourable” in taking place without significant restrictions this summer.

The festival, which was scheduled to take place from June 2 to 6, was set to host headliners including Gorillaz, the Strokes and Tame Impala.

Primavera said in a statement: “We have reached this painful decision due to the uncertainty surrounding the legal framework for large events on the original dates of the festival, which, added to the restrictions that currently exist, mean that we cannot work normally on the preparation of the festival nor ensure that, once the date arrives, it can be celebrated.

“Although it is painful, we know that this is the right decision, especially for those of you who have to plan your trip in advance. We have left no stone unturned: we led the clinical trial carried out at the Apolo in Barcelona last December and we have been in constant contact with the health authorities to explore all possible solutions.

“But the 20th anniversary of Primavera Sound deserves a party like the ones we are used to, and the global situation does not seem favourable to allowing something like this to happen this summer. At least not in a way in which we can live the full Primavera Sound experience.”

Meanwhile, Live Nation’s Download Festival, the UK’s biggest rock event with 80,000 attendees, announced it would not be going ahead once again.

The event was also scheduled to take place during the first week in June.

The organisers said: “Following the announcement of the government’s roadmap and despite the extraordinary efforts the NHS have put in to roll out the vaccine, we can sadly now confirm that Download Festival will no longer be taking place this year.

“We never gave up hope of bringing the festival back to Donington this June and had been working so hard behind the scenes to make that happen, but sadly, we now know it’s not possible. We’re heartbroken for everyone in the Download family, from artists to suppliers and of course our passionate Download fans.”

The news comes after the UK Government unveiled its reopening roadmap, which could see restrictions on social contact in England lifted entirely by June 21.

Following the announcement, a series of festivals confirmed their events would go ahead this year, including Reading and Leeds Festival.

In addition, the Isle of Wight festival has today (Tuesday) confirmed it is moving to a new September date, as it was originally scheduled for June 17-20.

Organisers said they would aim to feature as many already-announced artists as possible, with headliners including Lewis Capaldi, Lionel Richie and Duran Duran.

Image: Paul Hudson / CC BY 2.0 / Edited for size