England’s Reading and Leeds Music Festivals to Go Ahead as Planned This August

The dual-festival's return is a reason for live music fans to be optimistic

reading and leeds festivals
Dean Richardson of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes performs live on the Main Stage during day three of Reading Festival 2019 on August 25, 2019 in Reading, England.

In what could wind up being the first major music festival return of 2021, the U.K.’s Reading and Leeds festivals have announced that they will go on as planned this August.

The news comes on the heels of prime minister Boris Johnson’s recently announced plans to get England out of lockdown, which include the goal of lifting all restrictions on social contact by June 21. “Following the government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer,” festival organizers tweeted. “LET’S GO.”

The dual-festival will take place on Aug. 27-29, with Liam Gallagher, Stormzy and Post Malone set to headline. Gallagher seemed thrilled with the announcement on social media, tweeting, “READING n LEEDS c’mon you fuckers” and adding “Send us your Setlist/Wishlist and I’ll see what I can do for youse can’t wait to see all your little happy faces peace n love.”

Of course, the state of the pandemic right now is different in England than it is here in the States, but this could be a reason to be optimistic that festivals like New York’s Governors Ball and Tennessee’s Bonnaroo — both currently scheduled for September — can go on as planned. At the beginning of the year, it seemed like wishful thinking to expect any music festivals to return in 2021, and just last month, Glastonbury Festival announced it was canceling this year’s event and focusing instead on 2022. But case numbers have dropped rapidly, and experts are now predicting we’ll achieve herd immunity earlier than expected. With the vaccine continuing to roll out, it seems entirely possible that we’ll be able to safely gather to weep into our overpriced beers at a music festival at some point this fall. Fingers crossed!

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