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Following Festival Republic managing director Melvin Benn’s assertion that the company’s Latitude Festival would be able to go ahead with a full 40,000 capacity, as planned, on 22-25 July at Henham Park in Suffolk, it has been confirmed by Government it will be part of the Events Research Programme.

Earlier this week, Benn told Access that the event had been submitted for inclusion in the pilot scheme, and that he was very confident it would be succesful.

Secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden said, “We are working flat out to find a way to get festivals back up and running safely, so it’s brilliant that Latitude Festival will go ahead as part of the Events Research Programme and build on the success of our pilots at Download and Sefton Park.

Both the Download and Sefton Park pilots were organised and paid for by Live Nation-owned Festival Republic.

WOMAD (40,000), which takes place over the same weekend as Latitude, is on the brink of being cancelled due there being no indication from Government of whether it will be part of the ERP, or what Covid mitigation measures would be required if it was to go ahead.

The past week alone has seen festivals including  Kendal Calling and Truck Festival, Splendour and Beyond The Woods cancelled, while the AIF said more than 50% of independent festivals have already been cancelled this year.

Benn said, “Becoming an ERP event gives us the security of going ahead. Crucially the additional research collected at Latitude will benefit all festivals and live events moving forward. After many months without live music and arts, we are ecstatic to return with a full-capacity festival. Restarting festivals is crucially important to the wellbeing of everyone in society and we hope that Latitude will be the first of many festivals to take place this summer.”