Download Festival Postponed; U.K.'s four-step plan to bring back events

By Cassie Whitt

Download Festival 2022 Lineup

It was merely a few weeks ago that we updated you on which large music festivals were canceled and continuing, and to begin this week, we’re met with another cancelation.

The U.K.’s Download Festival, usually billed for mid-June has been rescheduled for 2022, with the announcement of massive headliners Iron Maiden, Kiss and Biffy Clyro. Additionally, the formerly uber-ambitious Ultra Music Festival in Miami which was set to go forward March 26-28 as of our previous update is also now postponed to 2022.

While there is no agreed-upon “reopening” date for large events here in the U.S., British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced that the U.K. will “aim to remove all legal limits on social contact [by June 21, 2021].”

Whether that date will definitively signal the return of large-scale events has yet to be seen; as, it’s dependent on the success of a four-part plan, starting with lifting restrictions on family, educational and outdoor activities this month, allowing limited indoor activity in April, restrictions lifted on events in May (Indoor events: 1,000 cap or 50%; Outdoor events: 4,000 or 50%; Outdoor seated events: 10,000 or 25%) and finally no restrictions “no earlier than June 21.”

As events in the U.S. go, there have been smatterings of unrestricted events throughout the pandemic which have faced massive backlash, and many locally promoted small venue shows continue to happen in various parts of the country.

With a much larger population and health guidelines varying by state, it seems impossible that we could reach a concise plan to reopen our stages, but it might be worth considering looking to the U.K. for inspiration.