Reading Festival 2021: Revellers arrive at event where Liam Gallagher, Post Malone and Stormzy will play

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (PA)
(PA)

Thousands of revellers on Wednesday began arriving at Reading Festival where Liam Gallagher, Post Malone and Stormzy are set to perform.

Keen festival-goers could be seen dragging their belongings on to the site on Wednesday afternoon ahead of the event kicking off on Friday. Similar scenes were expected at the sister event Leeds Festival.

Groups of friends were spotted with tents, backpacks and supplies crowding through the gates and on to site.

It comes amid concern festivals cause increased Covid infection - with high numbers of positive tests recorded after Boardmasters in Cornwall and Latitude in Suffolk.

Health officials said they are investigating 4,700 cases of coronavirus which are suspected to be linked to the Boardmasters festival, which took place in Cornwall nearly two weeks ago.

Elsewhere it has been reported that more than 1,000 people who attended Latitude Festival at Henham Park in Suffolk last month have tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, a expert advising the Government said festivals would lead to a “significant” spike.

 (PA)
(PA)

A rise in cases as a result is “realistic” and will happen “despite best efforts” amid the spread of the dominant and more transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus, Professor Ravindra Gupta said.

Asked if a surge in cases is inevitable amid summer festivals and the imminent return of schools and colleges, Prof Gupta told BBC Radio Four’s World at One: “Of course there is going to be an associated surge in cases, given that the young people in these events are largely going to be unvaccinated.

“That’s just something that is predictable and will happen, despite best efforts.

“We know that Delta is far more infectious, it ramps up very quickly. We know the lateral flow devices are not perfect. So we just have to be realistic and say that this is going to lead to a significant surge in infections.”

Elsewhere, the organiser of the Reading and Leeds Festivals said such events are arguably “safer places to be” because attendees have been tested for Covid-19.

 (PA)
(PA)

Melvin Benn, managing director of the Festival Republic Group, told BBC Radio 4 young people were often in environments where they were not tested and did not know whether people around them were infectious.

He said: “I certainly think that the virus is continuing and we have to get used to it or we have to increase the number of vaccinations.

“The Government are encouraging more vaccinations. We as an organisation are encouraging more vaccinations. We have a vaccination centre on site at both Reading and Leeds, for example. So that is ultimately what will reduce that spread.

“Of course, the people coming to the event are all lateral flow tested. They are being lateral flow tested as they walk through the gate now and we are asking them to do it again after three days.

“So we are doing everything that we can and we are putting people – young people particularly – in an environment where they are all being tested.

 (PA)
(PA)

“Whereas again, in the main, young people are often in environments where they are not being tested and they don’t know whether the people around them have the virus or not.

“So arguably actually it is a safer place to be when you know that everybody has been tested.”

Questioned over his claim, Mr Benn added: “I am saying that arguably it is better to be in a place where everyone is tested than not tested. Yes, that is what I believe.”

Liam Gallagher, Disclosure, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Post Malone and grime star Stormzy are among the acts due to perform at the festivals at the Richfield Avenue and Bramham Park sites over August bank holiday weekend.

This summer, Festival Republic Group was also responsible for organising a reduced capacity Download festival in Donington Park in Leicestershire and Latitude Festival – both of which took place as part of the Government’s live events pilot scheme.

Read More

Oasis at Knebworth 25 years on - I still can’t believe I was there

‘Unexpectedly high number’ of babies and children passed to troops in Kabul

Number of people arrested at XR protests nears 200 as Oxford Circus targeted

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting