The Danish government has announced that all events over 1,000 capacity are cancelled until 31 August, meaning no festivals will be able to take place this year.
Other social restrictions, including a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people, will stay in pace until at least 10 May.
Roskilde, a festival due to take place 27 June-4 July which had acts including Taylor Swift, Deftones, Kendrick Lamara, Faith No More, Kacey Musgraves, Tyler the Creator, FKA Twigs, the Strokes and Haim, said in a statement that it was ‘devastated’ by the news.
The statement continued: “Though we feared this would happen, we have until now hoped that it wouldn’t end this way. However, the risk of getting infected with the Covid-19 virus is too large when many people are gathered, and that consideration is by far the most important. Consequently, there will be no Roskilde Festival this summer.”
Denmark has now become the second European nation to provide dates and details on a slow reopening of the country following its lockdown. Schools will start to open on 15 April.
Kim Worsøe, co-owner of Denmark’s ICO Concerts and CEO of All Things Live Group, says the Danish live industry had been urging the government to “be clear on the ban – and the sooner the better”, adding that he expects the rest of Scandinavia to “follow shortly”.
“Of course, this is terrible news, but we are glad that there is now an announcement, so festival organisers have [clarity],” adds Esben Marcher of industry association Dansk Live.
Besides Roskilde, other festivals not going ahead are Northside and Tinderbox. The 2020 edition of Northside was set to feature Green Day, Robyn and Weezer, and the line-up for Tinderbox 2020 included AJ Tracey, Banks and Bring Me The Horizon.
Roskilde and Northside, along with a number of other independent European festivals, to put their names on the #FestivalStandUnited letter stating the intention to continue the event as planned this summer, if possible.
Northside festival director and Down the Drain CEO, Brian Nielsen, said: “We know that many have been looking forward to this summer’s festival and to once again gathering around the atmosphere and music.
“For many, this will be a tradition which is broken, and we are very sad about that. But we stand in a historically difficult and unknown situation, and we of course support the initiatives from the government, in order to do all in our power to take care of one another.”
Tickets for both festivals will automatically be valid for the 2021 editions, with refunds also available.
Ticketholders for Roskilde 2020 can also choose to transfer their tickets to the 2021 edition of the festival or request a refund.
The organisers of Roskilde have stated that the former is preferable, stating: “You can make a huge difference for us by saying yes to being part of Roskilde Festival already now.”
The festival also said it was “in an especially difficult position” as it is a non-profit organisation.
All proceeds from the festival go to supporting children and young people, as well as Freemuse, an independent organisation that advocates for and defends freedom of artistic expression.
The statement continued: “Ultimately, the Roskilde Festival Society, the organisation behind the festival, will not be able to live up to its purpose of supporting children’s and young people’s opportunities. This will affect a large number of organisations and initiatives in and outside of Denmark.”
The festival also stated that its humanitarian and social efforts “means that [it doesn’t] have big savings to draw upon. We start up from zero every year.”
The Roskilde team said it will “work hard on creating an outstanding Roskilde Festival no 50 in 2021”.