Music festivals in 2021 remain in the dark

Niamh Quinlan

Astaple of summer culture, all music festivals were cancelled last year due to the pandemic. With a vaccine being doled out and a better grasp on how to deal with Covid-19, every festival fanatic is waiting to find out if they will go ahead.

Right now, a lot of festivals are saying that they will be taking place.

Longitude is also still going ahead, according to the organisers. From July 2-4, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and A$AP Rocky will be headlining, supported by other artists such as Megan Thee Stallion, Playboi Carti and Aitch.

Electric Picnic has announced dates for 2021: September 3-5, about a week after it would usually take place. However, the line-up has still to be officially announced.

Life Festival has announced that it will take place on its usual end of May dates, from the 28-30.

Sea Sessions will also be going ahead in Bundoran from June 18-20. Kodaline is so far the only announced headliner and tickets have been on sale since December 17.

However, Indiependence will not be returning to their usual spot in Mitchelstown, Cork, this year, according to their website.

Across the Irish Sea, Glastonbury organisers announced on January 21 that the massively famous and usually massively crowded festival will not be going ahead. However, TRNSMT, Reading and Leeds and Boomtown will still be happening.

The notorious seven-day Hungarian festival, Sziget, has also been cancelled.

Back in Ireland, cases are currently at an all-time high after a third wave of the virus has hit. The Irish population are being vaccinated as fast as is possible, but the target market for these festivals are the last two groups to be vaccinated – people aged 18-54 and people aged 18 and under.

Music festivals are an important part of Irish culture, whether you’re jumping up and down to trad at the Fleadh or techno at Life.

Dublin-based rapper, J Nasty, has said that the cancelling of festivals will have a negative effect country-wide. “Personally, I was meant to play at a festival in Arklow last summer which would’ve been my first open-door performance.”

“You have artists who were meant to play at huge festivals such as Longitude and EP, this would’ve been a landmark for their careers.” The issue with this, he said, is that acts for those festivals are chosen by popularity at the time of organising, and for some artists whose popularity may have dwindled during Covid, they may have lost the opportunity to ever play these festivals.

But J Nasty is optimistic about the industry bouncing back: “Promoters and such will be dying to kickstart right where they left off before the pandemic struck and get artists booked for gigs across the country.”

New initiatives like that the socially-distanced outdoor gig by Sam Fender in August of 2020 could be put in use again, run as low as they did.

All in all, it’s just a waiting game, and festivals are another thing that we will have to wait to get back.

Niamh Quinlan

Image Credit: Twitter

Note: This article was reuploaded on 24/03/2021 due to a fault with The College View website.