From the Fields, the organiser of Kendal Calling, has announced the cancellation of the 2021 festival. It has cited the lack of any Government guidance and the delayed release of research from the Events Research Programme as the reason for the cancellation.
With no clear information and guidance on how events and festivals need to be run, From the Fields feels that there are numerous aspects of Kendal Calling that cannot be planned. Unforeseen regulations/requirements or last-minute changes to track and trace protocols, COVID certification and capacities could “scupper” the festival.
In a statement, the From the Fields said: “We wish that we were able to bring you better news however it breaks our hearts to tell you that our fifteenth birthday celebrations are postponed once again. Postponing in 2020 was sad but understandable. Postponing in 2021 is heart-breaking. Infuriating.
“Our understanding is that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are keen to publish the ERP findings and guidance, but that it now does not fit around No.10’s communications plan. This is insulting to our entire industry, who have been awaiting the results of a pilot event that took place almost two months ago to inform our approach to staging events safely this summer.
“Yet there was still hope. Last week we were invited to apply to join the next round of the Event Research Programme, which would manage us past this lack of guidance. This was our last chance, however on Saturday night we heard back that another camping festival was chosen. We have not been told the reasons why or exactly what the criteria was by the Government.
“Over the last day we have had the grim undertaking of informing hundreds of talented and dedicated individuals that, yet again, we are unable to offer them the work they badly need.
“This has been a frankly devastating 16 months for our industry. If calls for a government-backed insurance scheme had been heeded – as recommended by the DCMS, emulating successful schemes now up and running in other countries – we could have potentially continued to plan and invest in the coming weeks. We take this opportunity to urge the Government to re-appraise its approach and to listen to the recommendations of its own reports, as the continued lack of leadership hampers the recovery of our live event industry.”
Kendal Calling will take place from July 28-31, 2022.
Image: From the Fields/Kendal Calling