Reading and Leeds Fest Organizer Says Attendees Will ‘Almost Certainly’ Need to Be Vaccinated

Festival Crowd

The UK’s Reading and Leeds festivals sold out quickly for their August 27-29 dates, but festival organizer Melvin Benn told the BBC that concertgoers will “almost certainly” need to prove that they have been vaccinated via a digital health “passport” before being admitted.

A dedicated COVID medical director and team will be on-site for the festival, which features Queens of the Stone Age, Post Malone, Liam Gallagher and more. Reading and Leeds will also be bound by the same coronavirus safety protocols as bars and restaurants, Benn said.

However, there’s still a chance the three-day event will be canceled. “I’m taking the prime minister at his word that from June the legal restrictions will be off,” Benn said. “And as he and the culture secretary said: ‘We are looking forward to a summer of fun.’ If it is cancelled everyone gets a refund — that’s pretty normal — but I’m certainly anticipating it going ahead.”

New York City is allowed to resume socially distanced and restricted capacity indoor concerts starting April 2. New York State has officially launched its Excelsior Pass platform this week, which will provide a free and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results. Jesse Malin will be performing at Bowery Electric this weekend.

A bunch of festivals are hoping to launch this summer and fall, including San Francisco’s Outside Lands, which is slated to return on Halloween weekend.


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