Mon. Jul 26th, 2021

Kendal Calling will next take place in 2022. (PA)

Music festival Kendal Calling has been cancelled for 2021, with organisers citing a lack of guidance from the government. 

They said the lack of a government-backed insurance scheme and the delay to the publication of results from the Events Research Programme (ERP) had contributed to the “heart-breaking” decision.

They called on the Government to “reappraise its approach” and “listen to the recommendations of its own reports”.

It was set to take place at Lowther Deer Park in the Lake District from 29 July to 1 August with headliners including Stereophonics and Dizzee Rascal. 

Read more: ‘Euphoria’ at Download Festival pilot event despite heavy rain, promoter says

The festival was also cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Following the Government’s decision to push back the end of social distancing to 19 July, Kendal Calling may have still been able to go ahead.

Watch: Inside the UK’s COVID pilot festival

However, festival bosses set out their reasons for postponing for a second consecutive year, to July 2022, in a letter to ticket holders.

They said: “Last Monday saw the delay of the so-called ‘Freedom Day’.

“As Kendal Calling sits outside of this delay we would still be in a strong position to proceed.

“But Monday also saw a less publicised delay; the release of the long-awaited research from the Event Research Programme (ERP) pilot events, which would inform the publication of crucial new safety guidance on how we run events.

“Without this safety guidance, there are numerous aspects of the festival we cannot plan, and which could lay us wide open to last minute unforeseen regulations or requirements we may be required to adhere to, any of which could scupper an already built festival.”

Kendal Calling has been cancelled two years in a row. (Photo by Andrew Benge/Redferns)

Kendal Calling has been cancelled two years in a row. (Photo by Andrew Benge/Redferns)

Organisers said cancelling in 2020 had been “sad but understandable” but that doing the same this year was both “heart-breaking” and “infuriating”.

They claimed that a decision had been made to “hold back” the ERP report, which was “insulting to our entire industry”.

Read more: Boomtown Festival cancelled over lack of insurance

In the letter, organisers said they were invited last week to apply for the next phase of the Government’s live events pilot scheme, which would have allowed the festival to go ahead, but that on Saturday night they were told another camping festival had been chosen.

Heavy metal festival Download took place in Donington Park in Leicestershire with a reduced capacity as part of the programme, and more pilot events are expected to be announced in the next month.

Kendal Calling bosses said the lack of a Government-backed insurance scheme in case of cancellations had also been a factor in their decision.

Download's reduced 10,000 capacity festival was part of a UK government test event to examine how Covid-19 transmission takes place in crowds. (Photo by Katja Ogrin/Getty Images)

Download’s reduced 10,000 capacity festival was part of a UK government test event to examine how Covid-19 transmission takes place in crowds. (Photo by Katja Ogrin/Getty Images)

“If calls for a government-backed insurance scheme had been heeded we could have potentially continued over the coming weeks,” they said.

“We take this opportunity to urge the government to re-appraise its approach and to listen to the recommendations of its own reports.”

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said: “We are continuing to work flat-out to support festivals and live events including through our ongoing Events Research Programme.

“Festival organisers have received more than £34 million from our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, with more financial support on the way after a £300 million boost at budget.

“We are aware of the wider concerns about securing indemnity cover and are exploring what further support may be required when the sector is able to reopen.”

Kendal Calling will now take place from July 28 to July 31 2022.

With reporting by PA.

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