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Glastonbury music festival cancelled due to coronavirus

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The 50th annual Glastonbury Festival has officially been cancelled.

Initially set to take place between June 24 and 28, the Somerset, England-based music festival was affected by the growing worldwide pandemic and associated concerns of the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

As confirmed in a statement issued by the event’s organizers on Wednesday, Glastonbury will return in 2021.

“We are so sorry to announce this, but Glastonbury 2020 will have to be cancelled, and this will be an enforced fallow year for the Festival,” wrote Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis, in partnership with his daughter Emily Eavis — the festival’s head co-organizer.

It was only a week prior that the festival began announcing some of the bands and artists set to play at its highly anticipated 50th anniversary extravaganza. Kendrick LamarPaul McCartneyTaylor Swift and Diana Ross were revealed as the first wave of headliners on March 12.

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Evavis’s statement continues: “Clearly this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new government measures announced this week — and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty  — this is now our only viable option.

READ MORE: Concerts postponed, cancelled due to coronavirus: Full list of North American shows

From the cancellation of the 2020 Juno Awards and the suspension of the 2019-20 NHL season last week to the ongoing postponements and cancellations of concert tours continent-wide in the last two weeks, it’s clear that the global pandemic has quite literally plagued the entertainment industry as a whole. Now, Glastonbury joins that ever-expanding roster.

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Expanding on their decision to cancel the event, the Eavis family wrote:

“We would like to send our sincere apologies to the 135,000 people who have already paid a deposit for a Glastonbury 2020 ticket. The balance payments on those tickets were due at the beginning of April and we wanted to make a firm decision before then.”

While previous ticket-holders have been given the option of getting a full refund, they have also been given the choice to push their initial £50 deposit over to the 2021 festival and guarantee themselves a ticket for then.

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Furthermore, the organizers reached out with an apology to those who were planning to attend the festival.

“We very much hope that the situation in the UK will have improved enormously by the end of June,” organizers wrote.

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“But even if it has, we are no longer able to spend the next three months with thousands of crew here on the farm, helping us with the enormous job of building the infrastructure and attractions needed to welcome more than 200,000 people to a temporary city in these fields.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus calls for self-isolation. Here’s how to do it properly

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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How to keep busy while ‘social distancing’

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca