Fears raised music festival could fall foul of Covid rules and be cancelled
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Councillors in Powys are concerned that an open-air music festival could fall foul of covid regulations and be cancelled.
The Green Man Festival has been an annual fixture in the Powys calendar for nearly 20 years.
It is held near Crickhowell and is supposed to return this year between August 19 to August 21. The music festival is capped at 25,000 visitors and is already a sell out.
Councillor John Morris who represents, Crickhowell, said “I find it baffling that just a few weeks out from their scheduled date, Green Man still does not have the necessary guidance from Welsh Government to make informed decisions about the 2021 festival.
“Clear guidance needs to be issued to festival organisers in Wales, on what regulations and criteria they may need to follow, as quickly as possible.
“The Green Man Festival is hugely important for the local economy and cultural life of Crickhowell.
“Two cancelled years in a row would have a devastating impact on Green Man, but also on many other individuals and businesses in the Usk Valley and Brecon Beacons area.”
Cllr William Powell who represents nearby Talgarth, said: “There seem to be increasing contradictions in the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 rules with regards to large events.
“We see packed sports stadiums in England, including full-capacity at Wimbledon, but also crowds at the Sofia Gardens cricket ground in Cardiff.
“Yet, we still do not know if Green Man – an outdoor gathering in a large open space – can go ahead.
“We need clearer reassurance from the Welsh Government that they are following a consistent, fair, and evidence-based approach to culture and sports events in Wales.”
The calls follow comments made by Fiona Stewart, the founder of Green Man to the Access All Areas music magazine.
Ms Stewart criticised the lack of reopening timeline in Wales and the unfairness that sports are being allowed to go ahead but not music festivals.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Decisions on the way forward on any further relaxation of restrictions on events will be taken as part of the regular 21-day review process.
“We are in regular contact with the organisers of the Green Man Festival in relation to this year’s event.”
Under current coronavirus guidance in Wales for “regulated gatherings” which includes live music outside, reasonable measures to ensuring social distancing can be maintained are needed.
Maximum numbers who may attend regulated gatherings outdoors is up to 4,000 people standing and 10,000 seated.