WOMAD has become the latest UK festival to confirm it will go ahead this summer and is discussing the possibility of offering COVID-19 tests.
The world music festival, scheduled to take place from July 22-25, will sell tickets in batches with additional batches added as the consultation on this year’s capacity proceeds. It comes after the government confirmed that they will aim to remove all legal limits on social contact by June 21.
“The final capacity will be settled after on-going consultation and will reflect the increased space available in the site and the licensing guidelines,” Chris Smith, director of WOMAD UK told AccessAA.
The three-day festival, which usually welcomes around 40,000 punters, takes place at Charlton Park in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, with tickets priced at £185.
Smith said there will be some changes to the festival and that the team is in the process of developing a WOMAD Roadmap 2021, which will outline the measures that are being taken to ensure audiences and contractors are kept safe.
WOMAD is discussing the possibility of following the upcoming Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) test events of offering home-based Lateral Flow COVID-19 tests, both before and after the festival. Depending on the position of the Public Health Authorities, these may be sold at cost price.
It noted that festival goers who have a ticket and test positive will be refunded in full or have their ticket rolled over to 2022.
As part of the festival’s roadmap, it is redesigning aspects of the site to increase the space in the campsite and the arena.
As international travel to and from the UK is currently restricted, WOMAD will “celebrate the UK’s rich and culturally diverse artistic community” with a line-up of mainly UK-based artists reflecting musical and artistic traditions from all over the world.
The UK artists will be announced on April 12. However, organisers noted that when restrictions on international travel are lifted, they hope to add international artists to the line-up around May 17.
In the event that the festival is cancelled by the government or health authorities, tickets can either be rolled over to 2022 or fully refunded.
Smith said: “We are resolute that the festival will go ahead this year, not only for festival goers to celebrate and discover global music, food and culture, but also for all those who are responsible for putting the festival together – they need to get back to work. The WOMAD community needs to come together to celebrate the magnificent world and all the things that enrich our lives, including each other.”
WOMAD joins several UK festivals in committing to a 2021 event, including Reading and Leeds, All Points East and Slam Dunk Festival, among others.
Many others have opted to cancel their events again this year, including Glastonbury, primarily due to a lack of cancellation insurance.