Music festivals: Is the prospect of live music in the North West this summer unrealistic?

It might only be Februrary but music festival organisers in the North West say time is already running out to save this years season.  This is the time of year lineups are announced, vendors are booked and tickets go on sale. 

Glastonbury has already been cancelled but bosses in the North West say they want to go ahead but need reassurance they'll be financially protected if they need to cancel. 

But how realistic is the prospect of live music this Summer? 

Jon Drape is a festival producer behind the likes of Kendal calling and BlueDot.

The UK live music industry was worth £1.3 billion in 2019, and organisers say they will be doing all they can to make the dream of bringing live music and festivals back in 2021, a reality.

It's easy to see why thousands of people in a field is highly problematic during a pandemic. So can festival's reinvent them selves as socially distanced safe havens instead?

  • Paul Reed, Association of Independent Festivals

There is hope that the vaccine roll out and increased testing could spell good news.

With that in mind some festivals including Parklife in Manchester has moved to the autumn.

Its founder Sacha Lord recently gave evidence at a commons select committee calling for Government protection against cancellations.

For emerging artists like Manchester's Phoebe Green who was booked for a number of festivals last year, it means little to no work.

Phoebe Green

Phoebe said: "It's hard because artists who are on the cusp rely on live shows so heavily, because that's where you meet a lot of people who could potentially be fans in the future."

But not all festivals are cancelled. Lytham is still hoping to go ahead in June. Organisers say they've had more interest in tickets than ever before.

A government spokesman said:

"So far over £51 million from our Culture Recovery Fund has been given to almost 150 cultural sites and venues in Greater Manchester, including music venues such as The Stoller Hall, Halle Concert Society, and Manchester Jazz Festival.

"We will set out our plan for gradually reopening our economy in a sustainable way later this month, but right now we must do everything we can to reduce pressure on the NHS and support the vaccination rollout."