Reading and Leeds Festival is still planning to go forward with their August dates, but with some COVID-19 protocols that The Stone Roses’ frontman Ian Brown will have problems with: namely, vaccine cards.
In a new interview with the BBC, Reading and Leeds organizer Melvin Benn said that twin festivals will “almost certainly” require attendees to show proof that they received their COVID-19 shots with special vaccination passports. The UK is on track to lift pandemic restrictions in the coming months, which would be just in time for Reading and Leeds’ weekend from August 27th through the 29th.
“I’m taking the prime minister at his word that from June the legal restrictions will be off and as he and the culture secretary said: ‘We are looking forward to a summer of fun’,” Benn told BBC. “If it is cancelled everyone gets a refund – that’s pretty normal – but I’m certainly anticipating it going ahead.”
It’s unclear exactly how the vaccine proofing system will play out, and Benn didn’t offer any logistical details about how and when attendees will be cleared for entry. However, he did say that there’d be a dedicated COVID-19 medical director on site, and that they’d be playing by the same rules that bars and restaurants will be abiding by.
He added that in “an ideal world” people would be able to go about “our daily business” the way we did at music festivals before the pandemic struck. “Whether we get to that I don’t know,” he said.
If it does end up happening, the three-day affair will be headlined by Stormzy, Post Malone, and Liam Gallagher, with other acts like Charli XCX, Queens of the Stone Age, and Disclosure making appearances.
Other festivals and music promoters have toyed with the idea of vaccine cards. Back in November, it was reported that Ticketmaster was exploring whether to require fans to verifying vaccinations or negative test prior to attending events. However, of the US festivals announced for 2021 thus far, neither Life is Beautiful nor Outside Lands has made any mention of requiring vaccines.