Tramlines and Standon Calling festivals are on - but Womad organisers say they have been forced to cancel

·3-min read

Two big festivals have announced they will be going ahead this summer.

Tramlines Festival, in Sheffield, will run as part of the government's pilot events programme from 23-25 July, with acts including The Streets, Royal Blood and Richard Ashcroft set to play to a full capacity of 40,000 fans.

Standon Calling, in Hertfordshire, is not part of the programme but has also confirmed it will take place on the same weekend in July, with a full capacity of around 15,000 people and performers including Primal Scream, Craig David, De La Soul, Bastille and Arlo Parks.

The announcements come following last week's confirmation from Latitude, in Suffolk, that it is also set to go ahead at full capacity.

However, as Tramlines and Standon Calling revealed positive news, organisers of Womad, in Wiltshire, said they had been forced to cancel, saying the festival could not go ahead without government-backed COVID insurance or being included in the pilot events scheme.

Coronavirus restrictions are currently due to end on 19 July - pushed back from the original date of 21 June. Many festivals have said that with nothing guaranteed, planning for a major event is too great a risk.

For Tramlines, being part of the pilot events programme means attendees will be asked to provide evidence of either a negative COVID-19 test result from within 48 hours, or proof of having had two doses of a vaccine.

Timm Cleasby, the festival's operations director, said: "This means we have a proven framework to follow, which at previous events has shown that festivals can be enjoyed at no more risk than other activities.

"Once inside, there will be no need for social distancing and no-one will have to wear a mask if they don't want to."

He added: "We would like to express our solidarity with those festivals which have not been able to go ahead this year and those which are still seeking clarity.

"It is very important to us that clear guidance is made available quickly to the entire event community so that as many festivals as possible can go ahead with confidence this summer."

Standon Calling director Alex Trenchard said that while the festival isn't part of the programme, organisers decided to "go for it" after reviewing data from recent pilot events and listening to the comments of new Health Secretary Sajid Javid about plans to lift restrictions next month.

"Most of all we want to thank our Standon Calling family who have stuck with us and supported the festival through this time," he said. "This year's festival is in honour of you - and we think we may have just pulled together the best Standon Calling line-up of all time."

But Womad co-founder Peter Gabriel, the Genesis musician, said they could not take the chance.

"Without the simple support of a government insurance scheme or the guarantee of test event status, we cannot continue and put Womad's long-term future at risk," he said.

"We feel that our audience, artists, staff, and contractors, who have been amazingly supportive throughout all this, will understand the need for us to act to guarantee our survival."

Womad follows festivals including Glastonbury, Boomtown and Kendal Calling, which previously announced they would not be taking place this year because of the pandemic.

Earlier this month, rock and metal festival Download went ahead at a significantly reduced capacity, with around 10,000 music fans rather than 110,0000 - as part of the pilot programme.

It was revealed earlier in June that there were "no substantial outbreaks" of coronavirus among the tens of thousands of people who have attended test events so far, which have included the Brit Awards and the FA Cup final.

Major festivals including Reading and Leeds and Isle Of Wight are also still set to go ahead.

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