21 April 2020
We’re going to have to wait another year until we can celebrate the 47th Greenbelt. That’s because we’ve had to take the crushing decision to cancel this year’s festival.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone by now, but it doesn’t make it feel any better. Obviously we would never have gone ahead if there had ever been the slightest risk to anyone’s health and safety. And over the past few weeks, it’s become all-too clear that we simply can’t deliver the brilliant production we’ve been planning this year.
It’s a postponement in some ways, because we hope to be able to bring along as many of the artists, thinkers and activists to next year’s festival as we can, and by acting now we can safeguard Greenbelt in 2021. Our hearts go out to many, many other events and festivals who might not be so lucky after this lost summer.
But it’s also a cancellation because – let’s face it – that’s what it is: there won’t be a Greenbelt this year for the first time in 47 years. A sentence it hurts to type as much as it does to read.
We’re contacting all our ticket-buyers with options. We’ll be rolling over tickets to next year automatically unless you tell us otherwise. You can get in touch if you’d prefer a full refund, or (as some of you have already asked about) you’d like to donate this year’s ticket purchase. We appreciate that’s an option only available to some, but whatever you decide we hope to see you at Boughton next year, and we’re hugely grateful for your support.
For lots of us, the festival is part of the annual fabric of our lives, and it will feel very strange not to meet again this August at Boughton.
But we’ve always said Greenbelt is about more than four days in a field. It’s about making spaces where all the things we cherish can co-exist, and we’re still going to be doing that this year. We still plan to be somewhere to believe in during the long days of lockdown and beyond.
In the meantime all our thoughts and prayers are with those keeping us safe and well on the many frontlines of the battle with Covid-19.
So for now, let’s take a moment to weigh up our losses, be thankful for what we still have, and know that when we do all come together again next year – riotously, joyfully, unthinkably close to one another once again – it will be all the sweeter.