Eurovision Song Contest and Glastonbury Music Festival Cancelled over Coronavirus

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 18: Duncan Laurence of The Netherlands during the 64th annual Eurovision Song Contest held at Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on May 18, 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Guy Prives/Getty Images)
Guy Prives/Getty Images

The Eurovision Song Contest and the Glastonbury Music Festival have been cancelled as Europe shuts down during the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The Eurovision Song Contest, which was set to take place in the Netherlands at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, has been cancelled following restrictions introduced by European governments on public events and travel.

“With the escalating spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe — and the restrictions put in place by the governments of participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities — it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned,” the organisers of the event said in a statement.

The organisers of the contest, which was watched by an estimated 182 million people last year, said that they could not reschedule the event as the “situation across Europe is likely to remain uncertain for the coming months and at this stage we cannot guarantee we would be able to stage an event of this size with this many stakeholders later this year”.

The Glastonbury Music Festival was also forced to cancel as a result of coronavirus. The music festival, which is marking its 50th anniversary this year, was planned to be held from June 24-28 at Worthy Farm in Somerset, England.

The festival had already announced a line-up of over 90 musicians, including Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, and Diana Ross.

“Clearly this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new government measures announced this week — and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty — this is now our only viable option,” the organisers said in a statement per the Evening Standard.

“We very much hope that the situation in the UK will have improved enormously by the end of June. But even if it has, we are no longer able to spend the next three months with thousands of crew here on the farm, helping us with the enormous job of building the infrastructure and attractions needed to welcome more than 200,000 people to a temporary city in these fields,” they added.

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