UK Music CEO calls for government support following Glastonbury axe

The iconic music festival has been cancelled for a second year in a row as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Maya Radcliffe
  • By Maya Radcliffe
  • 22 Jan 2021
  • min read

Following months of speculation, organisers confirmed yesterday that Glastonbury 2021 would not be going ahead. 

‘In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year,’ Michael and Emily Eavis said in a statement. ‘We are so sorry to let you all down.’

Reacting to news, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music, urged the government to give urgent financial support to the UK's crisis-hit music industry.

The festival, held at Worthy Farm in Somerset, was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020. 

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: ‘This cancellation is devastating for all of us on both on a personal and professional level. It will have a serious impact on thousands of jobs right across the country and many jobs in the supply chains for Glastonbury.

‘There is now a huge cloud of uncertainty hanging over the whole summer festival and live music season with the entire industry left in limbo and thousands more jobs in jeopardy.

‘It is absolutely critical that the Government look at more financial support for the music industry and those who work in it as a matter of urgency. Without more Government help, there is a real risk that some of our world-leading music scene will disappear forever.

‘The music industry is desperate to get back on its feet when we can operate safely. When the time comes for the post-pandemic recovery, we can play our role in our country's economic and cultural revival. But until that point, we need more financial support to keep us going.

‘If that support is not forthcoming, we will risk losing some of our finest emerging talent with the fear that Covid could rip a giant and permanent hole in the UK's music scene and our cultural fabric.’

MP Julia Knight, who sits on the DCMS Committee, wrote on Twitter: ‘We have repeatedly called for ministers to act to protect our world-renowned festivals like this one with a government-backed insurance scheme. Our plea fell on deaf ears and now the chickens have come home to roost.

‘The jewel in the crown will be absent but surely the government cannot ignore the message any longer – it must act now to save this vibrant and vital festivals sector.’

Last week, M Magazine spoke to Jamie Njoku-Goodwin to discuss Brexit, the Let The Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021 report and the string of devastating blows the music industry has been dealt since the pandemic began.