July 23, 2021

‘It’s heartbreaking. Infuriating’: Kendall Calling 2021 cancelled for second year running

Kendall Calling 2021 has been cancelled.

The festival’s organisers are furious after the annual music event, which was due to take place between July 29 and August 1 in the Lake District, had to be axed for a second year running, owing to the government’s delay in releasing vital data from the Event Research Programme (ERP) on how to safely run events.

In a lengthy statement, they began: “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) and with it, crucially, the publication of 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 which could scupper an already built festival. Capacity or density restrictions, track and trace protocol, testing regime, COVID certification – a host of unknown actions required yet potentially requested too late to be implemented.”

The organisers explained that they were denied the chance to join another round of the programme, which would have allowed them to “manage past this lack of guidance”.

They fumed: “This is insulting to our entire industry, who have been awaiting the results of a pilot event that took place almost 2 months ago to inform our approach to staging events safely this summer.

“Yet there was still hope. Last week we were invited to apply to join the next round of the Event Research Programme, which would manage us past this lack of guidance. This was our last chance. However, on Saturday night (June 19) we heard back that another camping festival was chosen. We have not been told the reasons why or exactly what the criteria was by the Government.”

On the “devasting” cancellation, they added: “We wish that we were able to bring you better news, however it breaks our hearts to tell you that our 15th birthday celebrations are postponed once again.

“Postponing in 2020 was sad but understandable. Postponing in 2021 is heartbreaking. Infuriating.

“Going two summers without a festival is devastating to all of us; we need the support of our audience now more than ever and retaining your tickets would go the longest way in helping us during this period.”

Kendall Calling was due to see performances from the likes of Supergrass, The Streets, Blossoms, and many more.

Those who had purchased tickets will be able to use them to gain entry for the 2022 event or receive a refund.

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