Download Festival cancelled for second year in a row due to coronavirus pandemic

John Dunne
·3-min read
<p>Biffy Clyro were among the headliners due to play at the cancelled Download Festival</p> (PA)

Biffy Clyro were among the headliners due to play at the cancelled Download Festival


Download Festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers have confirmed.

The rock and metal event was to be headlined by Kiss, Biffy Clyro and System of a Down from June 4 to 6.

Festival bosses said in a tweet that it was “not possible” to make the event happen.

Ticket holders have been told they can receive a refund or hold onto their places at the event in Donnington Park. Leicestershire, for next year.

The government’s so-called road map out of lockdown has a June 21 target date to remove all legal limits on social contact.

Last year the festival was also called off due to the pandemic, in what would have been its 40th anniversary.

It was named Monsters of Rock when it was first launched.

In the statement, organisers said the decision to cancel this year’s event came “following the announcement of the government’s roadmap and despite the extraordinary efforts the NHS have put in to roll out the vaccine”.

They said the festival “will return stronger than ever” in 2022, with Biffy Clyro, Iron Maiden and Kiss already confirmed as headliners.

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Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson said the band were delighted to be invited back for next year’s event.

He said: “Like everyone, we were all hugely disappointed when the global pandemic forced the cancellation of Download 2020 which would have been Maiden’s seventh time headlining here.

“As most people know, this festival is hallowed ground for us and our fans’ vocal support and enthusiasm is always phenomenal and much appreciated.

“We can’t wait to see everyone again, and are determined to make the show one hell of a party and the greatest homecoming ever.”

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) warned independent festivals could be forced to cancel if they do not receive government-backed insurance and VAT intervention by the end of March.

Chief executive Paul Reed said: “The Prime Minister has set out a road map and a ‘no earlier than’ date for festivals, and audiences have responded, demonstrating a huge appetite to be back in the fields this summer.

“But we need government interventions on insurance and VAT before the end of this month when festivals will need to decide whether they can commit to serious amounts of upfront capital.

“Now that we have a ‘no earlier than’ date, insurance is the last remaining barrier to planning.”

In January, Glastonbury confirmed it would not return until 2022, though a number of other festivals say they are hopeful of being able to host events later in the year.

But organisers of the Reading Festival have confirmed that the event will go ahead as planned on the Bank Holiday weekend of August 27-29. Stormzy and Liam Gallagher are among the confirmed acts.

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