Friday, June 05, 2020

The shows must go on

Another day, another festival cancellation. The organisers of Dials may have had little option but to pull the plug on this year's event, but it's a great shame given the hard work that had evidently gone on behind the scenes (the line-up is to be revealed shortly as part of the commitment to promoting new artists) and the fact that it's always a fantastic day's entertainment. Refunds have been processed automatically, but I'd encourage any former ticket-holders who are able to do so to donate to Solent Mind, the charity to which festival profits go.

Nevertheless, as Rich Collins of Cosmic Carnage argued when I interviewed him a few days ago, the business of booking gigs can't stop. We all desperately need something to look forward to. In my case, that means rearranged Cardiff shows for Holy Fuck and Therapy? (19th January and 10th May respectively).

Meanwhile, festival organisers are also looking to the future. Primavera 2021 boasts a typically stunning bill: Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Dinosaur Jr, Beck, Shellac, Napalm Death, Einsturzende Neubauten, Iggy Pop, Fontaines DC, Lightning Bolt, Les Savy Fav, The National, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Shame, Idles. Closer to home, Rockaway Beach has a fascinating assortment of artists booked for January, including Futureheads, Fat White Family, Sink Ya Teeth, Imperial Wax, Big Joanie and The Vaselines.

If, as the author of that Breaking Glass piece says, putting together festival previews in the current context involves "a certain amount of trepidation", then that's obviously all the more the case when it comes to planning festivals in the first place. Hats off to those fearless souls armed with sufficient conviction, courage and (let's face it) optimism to think that they will happen. In comparison, buying a ticket hardly constitutes taking a risk at all.

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