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Glastonbury Festival records £3.1m loss in 2021 

Glastonbury Festival recorded losses of up to £3.1m ($4.2m/€3.7m) in 2021, after having to cancel its second event in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Organisers confirmed that the Somerset-based music festival would be cancelled for the second year in a row at the start of 2021. According to documents obtained by Billboard, UK flagship festival Glastonbury racked up losses of £3.1m in 2021. It saw its annual turnover fall from around £45m to $950,000.

As the 2021 event was cancelled, Glastonbury organisers decided to host a global, ticketed livestream from its base at Worthy Farm. For £20, which was donated to the festival’s charities, viewers could see acts such as Coldplay, HAIM, IDLES, Jorja Smith, Michael Kiwanuka and Wolf Alice.

However, the livestream – held in conjunction with technology provider Driift Live, which supported the stream – suffered from technical issues, leaving fans unable to see the concert. As a result, organisers and Driift Live decided to open up the stream and offer coverage for free to everyone, following two hours of difficulties.

It was announced in April last year that Glastonbury would receive £900,000 in grants and loans from the UK Government, which had been put in place to help the live events and cultural sector recover. The injection came from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, which was launched in July 2020.

At the time, organiser Emily Eavis said: “We’re extremely grateful to be offered a significant award from the Culture Recovery Fund. After losing millions from the cancellation of our last two festivals, this grant will make a huge difference in helping to secure our future.”

Artist Billie Eilish has already been confirmed to headline the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2022, along with Diana Ross in the Legend’s Slot on the Sunday.

Image: James Genchi on Unsplash