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Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, has warned that festivals could close and thousands of jobs could be lost if events cannot run at full capacity in 2021.

He said that he expected the festival and live music sector would bounce back, but only if a Covid-19 vaccine allowed them to go ahead without social distancing.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Benn said: “A failure [by the government] to engage early with the industry will result in catastrophe because we can’t switch on overnight.”

Festival Republic is the organiser of Latitude, Download, Wireless and many more festivals.

Benn released a ‘Full Capacity Plan’ back in June, highlighting how festivals and events can return without social distancing.

Benn is delivering evidence today (8 September) to a Parliamentary committee, aimed at deciding how live indoor events can safely return. He is joined by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Royal Albert Hall Director Lucy Noble.


Photo credit: Matt Eachus. The 1975 headlining Festival Republic’s Leeds Festival