The U.K.’s iconic Glastonbury music festival is plotting a return in September, not for the fest’s usual three-day blowout, which has already been canceled for this year, but for a one-off event with its own name, Equinox.
The license for the festival, located in the county of Somerset, was approved by the Mendip district council after consultation with local residents and authorities.
If all the conditions are met for an official announcement, which is said to be weeks away, Equinox will be a single-day event, although the original application had asked for two. All the performances will take place at the festival’s main Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm, and the event will have a total capacity of 49,999 — including all staff, traders, performers and crew — versus the 200,000 who would normally arrive for Glastonbury. Public camping, a feature of the usual multi-day festival, will not be permitted for this one-off.
Sam Phripp, councillor and chair of licensing at Mendip Council, said: “Whenever a license application is considered, Mendip rightly assesses the impact of an event on local people and seeks to find a decent balance. With regard to Glastonbury Festival Events Limited holding a concert in September, we’ve heard concerns from residents, and those concerns are reflected in more than 50 conditions that have been added to this license. We believe they’re sensible measures, and match the perceived risk of the event.”
“With a view to COVID-19, of course, any event would have to be COVID-safe, and Mendip will work with other organizations and the organizers to make sure that’s the case,” Phripp added. “It’s in everybody’s interest for events like these to be a success, but as chair of licensing at Mendip, I’m clear that we’ll keep our ears and eyes open and take on board feedback from residents in Pilton, just as we would with any other event.”
Separately, Coldplay and Haim are among acts that will perform at a live-streamed event at Worthy Farm on May 22. The concert was announced after organizers were forced to cancel the physical festival two years in a row over COVID-19 concerns and uncertainty.