Why is it okay that there are no music festivals this year?

We hate to tell you, but when you’re just deciding which pot of eco-friendly glitter and dry shampoos to pack for a weekend with your friends and favorite bands at one of the world’s leading music festivals this summer, it’s time to put the brakes on .

The chances of someone going to a major music festival and being in close contact with 300,000 strangers in the next few months are slim, even if you are lucky enough to live somewhere like New Zealand’s free utopia COVID-19. Even in the best of times, festivals aren’t the most hygienic places – but right now, attending a glorious but dingy music event is problematic. There aren’t enough hand sanitizers in the world to make Glastonbury a sterile proposition.

Billie Eilish, Coachella 2019 (Photo by Rich Fury / Getty Images for Coachella)

© Rich Fury

Will there be festivals in 2021?

The US festival season usually starts in March with South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, followed by Coachella of California in April. In June, Europe will hoist the festival flag with Britain’s Glastonbury and Spanish Primavera before Japan’s biggest outdoor party, the Fuji Rock Festival, kicks off in August and the Mexican capital Corona in November.

However, this year it is increasingly unlikely that these festivals will take place. In January, Glastonbury organizers, Michael and Emily Eavis, had to announce the cancellation of the British festival for the second year in a row, and in February Coachella announced that the desert festival would also not take place.

While there may be little hope for smaller festivals over the course of the year – the new Dutch techno and hip-hop festival Frontier has been approved, provided everyone shows a vaccination certificate or a negative test upon entry, while Florida’s Frontyard Festival in May Will Do This See fans in private, raised boxes – now is clearly not the time to invest in a new tent and sleeping bag. However, we will be watching closely as Primavera’s PRIMA-CoV clinical trials, examining the usefulness of antibody testing in enabling big events without social distancing, play out.

Don’t despair – a slap like this on your social calendar could make your heart sink, but here’s why another summer without festivals might actually be fine.

1. Music festivals in 2022 will (hopefully) be huge

After pounding the global festival circle for a decade, I took a break from them two and a half years ago. I was desperate for a break. Not only did the ribbons in my calves have to knit back together after the weekends of bending through muddy fields with the limited support of rubber boots, but my heart never skipped a beat at the thought of catching a popular ribbon with one Pint of warm apple cider in hand.

Am I mad that it will be a full four years since I was allowed to go to a festival by 2022? No way – I’m excited. I won’t waste time shaking at the bar. I’m not going to be without a headliner to make sure I’m at the front of the line with an oversubscribed mac and cheese company. I won’t be going home on Sunday afternoon to beat the traffic. I’ll cherish every single second even when I’m exhausted, sweaty, and trudging around at 3am looking for the secret Dolly Parton set that will never happen.

2. Gigs have never been so enjoyable

Last summer proved that not all art-based entertainment has to end in the age of lockdown. Socially aloof performances from London to Nashville proved a powerful escape for those fortunate enough to attend. Regulated venues held concerts with smaller capacity, which showed that live music was possible in a safe environment.

Not only were these shows safe, but also the most convenient I’ve ever been to. Everyone gets a seat, there is no tall man to block your view, no one to step on your toes, and the forced table service eliminates the risk of missing your favorite song because you queue at the bar. Hopefully these will return later this year and provide a leisurely alternative to three days of lumbago in a lumpy field.

2. Smaller outdoor events might get a chance

While a full-seated version of something as massive as Chicago’s Lollapalooza would be impossible, much smaller, bespoke outdoor events could get a chance to unfold this summer, giving up-and-coming artists the chance to perform in front of intimate audiences. The virus is believed to be harder to spread outdoors, which means there’s plenty of potential for small, one-day events in parks and fields that provide a much-needed platform for new artists – and the opportunity to get there too working A time when so many tours have been canceled.

3. Festival FOMO no longer exists

At the beginning of every festival season there are always big worries – did you choose the right one? With so many options, finding the right event for you and your friends can often be a tug of war. Are you doing a full EDM rave-up, a gentle folk get-together in some woods, or the headbanger ball which is an all-out heavy metal festival? Whatever happens, you always know that one of your crew members will settle down and somberly reach for a glow stick in front of a laptop DJ when you know he’d rather be in the middle of a mosh pit.

4. Your balance will thank you

The average cost of attending a festival isn’t cheap when you factor in the cost of a ticket. If you go for a fancy VIP Coachella ticket, that’s a whopping $ 929. The Fuji Rock Festival costs about $ 470 while the Swedish route west is about $ 260 – and that you can actually get there and spend your money on it. These frozen margaritas don’t pay off, nor do three meals a day from different food trucks. In a year when all budgets have reached their limits, the fact that there is now one less thing to throw money on can only be a blessing in disguise.

Also read:

6 of the most memorable music festivals of all time as you are currently unable to attend one

6 new musicians slated to become stratospheric in 2021