Michael Eavis says track-and-trace coronavirus app could be future of Glastonbury

Michael Eavis says track-and-trace coronavirus app could be future of Glastonbury

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has suggested that using a track-and-trace app may be the future for festival-goers after coronavirus.

The festival, which was set to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary this weekend, was forced to cancel the event as the pandemic began spreading across the globe earlier this year.

Eavis has since warned that postponing the event for a second year could have huge financial implications for the event, but believes that new technology could provide a way forward.

He has held discussions with Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn to collaborate on a scheme that will allow ticket-holders on site after they’ve proved that they are virus-free.

According to Benn – who runs festivals including Reading and Leeds, Download, Latitude and Wireless – the scheme would involve using an NHS-linked tracing app that ticket-holders would show at an additional security gate before entering festivals.

“I’m 100% confident about next year, literally 100%, because the government will successfully pursue one of three options: cure, vaccine or testing,” Benn told The Guardian,  adding that app-based entry “will become the new norm.”

“This isn’t just about Glastonbury, it’ll be the norm if you want to go to the movies or Pizza Express. I do think of it as plan B – plan A is a vaccine or cure,” he said.

However, any plans for the scheme could potentially be derailed by the UK’s lack of progress on developing a sufficient app.

The government first promised that a tracing app would be released in mid-May, but there were delays after it failed security tests earlier that month.

That version was subsequently scrapped earlier this month, in favour of a new platform designed by Apple and Google to boost security.

Meanwhile, Emily Eavis has spoken of what to expect from the festival next year, explaining that she’s “hoping” Paul McCartney will return to fulfil his scheduled headline slot.

“I think because we’re rolling two festivals together for 2021, we’ve got a hell of a lot of surprises that we were planning for the 50th,” she said.

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