- 28 Jun 21
Ireland is turning hopeful eyes toward the UK and America, as Latitude festival organisers have said it will go ahead as part of a series of government test events. In New York City, Bruce Springsteen's show marks the return of live Broadway...
Latitude Festival organisers have announced that the 4-day-event will go ahead from the 22nd of July, as part of the English government’s event research programme.
The event will be held at Henham Park in Suffolk, three days after the government plans to lift all restrictions on social contact.
Wolf Alice, Bastille, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Chemical Brothers are all set to headline the event, while comedians Bill Bailey, Katherine Ryan, Jo Brand, Reginald D. Hunter and Simon Amstell will also appear.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the department was "working flat out to find a way to get festivals back up and running safely.
"It is brilliant that Latitude will go ahead as part of the events research programme, and build on the success of our pilots at Download and Sefton Park," he added.
Ticket holders will be asked to present a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours before arriving at the festival in order to gain entry. They can also provide proof of full vaccination, but the second dose must be received at least 14 days before the first day of attending the festival.
Festival Republic, who organise Latitude Festival, said they will work with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) experts, scientists and the director of public health in Suffolk on specific conditions of entry for festival goers, in order to ensure the event is safe. Festival Republic also also hosted the UK's Sefton Park and Download events this year.
Existing ticket holders for the 40,000 capacity festival will be contacted by the organisers with more details regarding the event, and Latitude director Melvin Benn said he had been "working extremely hard" to ensure the festival could go ahead "safely at full capacity," and attendees would be welcome as long as they met the conditions of entry.
"Becoming an ERP event gives us the security of going ahead," he said, "Crucially the additional research collected at Latitude will benefit all festivals and live events moving forward.
"After many months without live music and arts, we are ecstatic to return with a full-capacity festival,” he added. “Restarting festivals is crucially important to the wellbeing of everyone in society and we hope that Latitude will be the first of many festivals to take place this summer."
Elsewhere in the world, Bruce Springsteen marked the return of live shows to Broadway, with the reprise of his wildly successful 'Springsteen On Broadway' show – which counted New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg among its attendees.
“It’s good to see everyone here tonight unmasked, sitting next to each other,” Springsteen said. “What a year. I’m 71 years on this planet and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Audience members were required to show proof of vaccination to enter the St. James Theatre, and although that attracted a rowdy handful of anti-vaccination demonstrators, complaining Springsteen was promoting segregation, the spirit of the evening could not be dampened.
All this news of life and live entertainment returning to some semblance of normalcy both in America and the United Kingdom can only bode well for Ireland, so perhaps we'll all see each other at Electric Picnic!