Latitude boss '100pc geared up' if festivals get green light this summer

Festival Boss Melvin Benn on the Henham estate.

Latitude Festival boss Melvin Benn is confident that festivals will be able to go ahead this summer. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Latitude boss Melvin Benn, also behind Reading and Leeds Festival, has revealed he is confident that large events will go ahead this summer.

Mr Benn, who is the director of Festival Republic, spoke to BBC Radio 4's PM programme on Wednesday after it was announced on social media that Reading and Leeds would return over the August bank holiday weekend. 

It was also hinted that Latitude Festival in Suffolk's Henham Park, scheduled for July 22 to 25, would be back in the summer.

How will festivals and gigs be impacted by coronavirus? Picture: Jamie Honeywood

How will festivals and gigs be impacted by coronavirus? Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A post on the festival's social media pages said: "Planning for Latitude 2021 is well underway and following Monday's government announcement, we hope to have more news to share with you very soon."

It comes following Boris Johnson's announcement of the four-step roadmap to ease lockdown, with all restrictions lifted as early as June 21.

Speaking on the radio about Reading and Leeds, Mr Benn said: "It didn't guarantee, but we are two months after June 21 and in terms of the vaccination rollout, almost uniquely in the world, the PM has got it right."

While an update on Latitude is due soon, it is a possibility that the date could be moved to later in the summer.

Latitude boss Melvin Benn has a plan which involves people being required to take a mandatory test f

The famous pink sheep at Latitude Festival 2019 - Credit: Archant

Headliners Lewis Capaldi and Bastille were announced last July for Latitude Festival 2021, with Snow Patrol also appearing, and tickets are still on sale.

If festivals are able to go ahead this summer, Mr Benn is fully equipped to comply with any guidelines.

Mr Benn added: I published a plan called the Full Capacity Plan in June last year and it's exactly what the Prime Minister was talking about yesterday [Tuesday], which was the NHS app carrying the vaccine certificate or allowing people to be tested and carrying the same Covid-free status as the vaccine certificate would give you.

'I'm 100pc geared up for it - I talk to scientists and doctors more than I talk to popstars at the moment and I'm learning a lot as I go along."