Playing it safe is the watchword from Warwick’s biggest festival as organisers plan the return of live music in the open air.
Warwick Folk Festival – The town’s folk festival will run this year from July 15 to 18 – bringing people from all over the UK to the town & local area. Last year’s gathering fell victim to the pandemic, but festival bosses are determined to go ahead this time round. The Government’s schedule for a staged lifting of all the social distancing rules has a target of seeing the country fully out of all restrictions of June 21. This ‘earliest possible’ date falls three weeks before the festival is set to welcome folk fans to its new site in the shadow of Warwick Castle.
If the roadmap delivers on time event organisers up and down the country expect a deluge of interest in festivals in the UK. Live gatherings are also expected to benefit from any lack of confidence in going abroad in the summer. But while a return to the normality of festival life is welcomed, organisers of Warwick’s 40-year-old festival understand that many music fans will be wary of taking things too fast.
‘We feel that even if the restrictions have all been wiped away, many people will still want to feel safe and take things carefully until we’re all certain the situation has improved. With that in mind we are going to keep a lot of the safety measures we have got used to over the last year or so in place. We will have reduced numbers on each day and plenty of space in and around all the gigs. There will also be hand sanitisers and we’ll be working to ensure that those who want to keep socially-distanced are able to do so,”
Festival Director Dick Dixon
The festival is also hoping to bring in an app allowing people to get their drinks from the bar without having to venture into the beer tent. With many regulars expected to snap up the chance of a long-awaited weekend in the open air, organisers have added an extra field to the site – already larger than the previous home at Warwick School – to allow campers to spread out as much as they feel necessary.
Reduced numbers inside the main venue will also help ensure more space and the festival is planning to feature a giant screen to allow hundreds to sit in the open air to enjoy the music.
“We’re as keen as ever to bring music back to the town and to inject a real boost into the local economy. But it has to be done in a way that people are comfortable with and so the emphasis will be on keeping things as safe as possible.”
Festival chairman John Plumb said:
The festival’s line-up offers top class performers including Show of Hands, Seth Lakeman, Spiers & Boden Official and Nancy Kerr alongside a full weekend programme of music, craft shopping and a wide range of festival food.
For the latest news as well as the full programme and ticketing details visit Warwick Folk Festival 2021