Reading Festival 'will be able to return safely' this summer, says organiser

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Briere-Edney

The organiser of Reading Festival is reassuring people that the festival will be able to return safely this summer.

Melvin Benn has told ITV News Meridian that there is no reason for festivalgoers 'not to feel safe' as he confirmed tickets for this year's event sold out in just two days. 

The festival which brings in millions of pounds to the local economy is due to be held at its normal site off Richfield Avenue on the August bank holiday weekend (July 29 - August 1).

Reading Festival Credit: ITV News Meridian

Melvin said: "The Prime Minister has said that the legal restrictions will be stopping on June 21, the Prime Minister has said that we will be back open."

"I am absolutely certain that from a scientific and medical point of view, we're able to allow Reading Festival to take place, where everybody is either vaccinated or tested to be Covid-clear."

Watch: Director of Festival Republic Melvin Benn

Melvin is supporting the new #wecreateexperiences campaign which launches on the 30th March and produced by One Industry One Voice. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the live events and experience industry, and the benefits it has on the economy.

The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce says the return of the festival will give a much needed boost to the local economy.

Watch: Marcus Johnson, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce

However Reading Borough Council says nothing has been agreed and the event is dependent on the Government's roadmap.

A spokesperson said: "The Council notes Festival Republic’s announcement that it would like to push ahead with this year’s festival, but the Government has been clear its roadmap is dependent on many aspects.

"For large events like the festival, the Government plans to pilot testing approaches from April.

"The outcome of that work, alongside event information submitted by Festival Republic and national guidance, will help the Council and Public Health colleagues make a decision on whether the festival can go ahead safely this summer."