WHEN WILL WE BE BACK?
June 26, 2020
Its not been easy, not easy at all this Coronavirus lockdown. I don’t know about you but me and my friends are party people. We love to go to the pub, have parties, attend concerts and nightclubs and spend wonderful weekends at festivals. Let alone flying off on adventures abroad, especially to wonderful Goa.
At one point during this lockdown we had nothing at all; we could barely even go out. As time has passed, little by little we have been allowed more and more and last weekend I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at my dear friend Louise’s house, sitting in the garden having a few glasses of wine and some music and chat with her and another good friend of mine, Las.
From the 4th of July in the UK the pubs and restaurants are finally reopening; which will be nice but what we really miss is clubbing, gigs, festivals and travel.
Me and my crew were supposed to be going to see Transglobal Underground live in May this year but of course that was rescheduled for December; we can only hope this concert at the Jazz Cafe in London will go ahead by then as I was really looking forward to it.
I know that we all miss Whirl-y-Gig so much and cannot wait for that nightclub event to return. Psymera were due to have their boat party this month, an event I enjoyed very much last year. Then of course there was the cancellation of this years Whirl-y-Fayre, a devastating blow to all the Whirlys which left a huge void.
I am also hoping to return to the beeches and dance floors of Goa next year and I’m praying I will be able to do that but the situation in India with the Covid-19 pandemic is not good at present.
The following dates that I have researched here are based on the Coronavirus being reasonably under control and they are not written in stone.
This is just a little bit of hope for us all.
So, when will we be back?
Major UK music festivals rescheduled for 2021
Here are the new dates for the UK’s biggest festivals that were cancelled in light of the COVID-19 outbreak
Summer 2020 is going to look a whole lot different this year, especially for music fans who were hoping to attend one of the UK’s many vibrant festivals. Summer is usually the best time for music lovers to soak up some sun rays (or dance about in mud) whilst walking from stage to stage to see some of the world’s best musicians all in one place.
From Coachella, which was originally scheduled to run in LA this month, to Reykjavik’s Secret Solstice festival, the coronavirus pandemic has lead to cancellations all over the globe. Though festival organisers are making wholly justified decisions to cancel or postpone, it’s hard not to long for a festival experience as the weather brightens up. Here’s a list of new dates for all the major UK festivals that have been postponed, many of which have been confirmed to go ahead in late 2020 or 2021. Ticket information and official statements have also been included. Keep checking back as more are added.
Good news, Whirl-y-Fayre returns in all its glory next year!!
Glastonbury. Wed 23–Sun 27 Jun 2021
Tickets for this year will roll over to next year.
Download, Warrington. Fri 4–Sun 6 Jun 2021
We are working closely with our ticketing partners now and they will be in touch very soon to process your refund, or, if you prefer, you can retain your ticket and carry it over to next year.
Terminal V, Edinburgh. Sat 31 Oct
The new date is now confirmed for Saturday October 31st 2020 – Halloween. All Easter tickets are automatically transferred to this new October date.
This Is Tomorrow Festival, Newcastle. Fri 14–16 Aug 2020
This Is Tomorrow Festival WILL happen August 14-16th 2020, the entire line up remains intact with more exciting additions incoming! All tickets remain valid, see you all in August & look after yourselves.
Riverside Festival, Glasgow. Sat 12 & Sun 13 Sep 2020
After a consultation period within the music industry and updated advice from the Scottish and UK Governments, we have rescheduled to the weekend of September 12/13 […] If you’ve already purchased a ticket, please check your email for important info. Your support is extremely important. Carrying forward your tickets to the rescheduled dates massively helps our ability to deliver a quality event on the other side of this pandemic when it will be needed and enjoyed more than ever.
Love Box, London & Parklife, Manchester. Sat 12–Sun 13 Jun 2021
We are working closely with our ticketing partners at the moment and they will be in touch very soon to process your refund, or, if you prefer, you can retain your ticket and carry it over to next year’s festival. Please lookout for an e-mail from your ticketing agent very soon. Please only contact them if you have not been contacted after 5 days as they are very busy at this time.
Isle of Wight Festival. Fri 17–Sun 20 Jun 2021
Isle of Wight Festival 2020 Statement
Forest Live, various locations, England. Cancelled until 2021
We are sorry to disappoint the Forest Live fans who were hoping to see bands in the nation’s forests this summer but we have cancelled Forest Live 2020 to keep everyone safe in line with recent government guidance on the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to reschedule our concerts. Ticket holders will be contacted by their point of purchase and will be automatically refunded. We ask for your patience and understanding at this busy time.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you back to Forest Live in 2021.
The Great Escape, Brighton. Wed 12–Sat 15 May 2021
Sending you all love and positivity during these difficult times. Look after yourselves, stay safe, and see you next year.
Bluedot, Chesire. 22-25 July 2021
It is with incredibly heavy hearts that we are announcing the postponement of bluedot to 22-25 July 2021.
We are happy to confirm that our three Lovell Stage headliners – Björk, Groove Armada and Metronomy – will join us on these new dates, and we are working to transfer as many of 2020’s artists and speakers to bluedot 2021 as possible.
Tickets for this year’s festival will automatically be transferred to 2021. Ticketholders will shortly receive an e-mail from their ticket provider with an update on their booking.
If you are unable to join us on our new dates, you will be entitled to a refund for your ticket and any extras, including boutique camping. If you are able to keep hold of your ticket, we would ask that you do – as an independent festival, your support will allow us to navigate this difficult period.
Latitude Festival will no longer be taking place this year. We’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation and it’s become clear that it’s just not possible for this year’s festival to go ahead.
We are working closely with our ticketing partners and they will be in touch very soon to process your refund, or, if you prefer, you can retain your ticket and carry it over to next year. Look out for an e-mail from your ticketing agent very soon and please only contact them if you have not been contacted after 7 days as they are very busy at this time. If you purchased your ticket from a physical outlet, please contact that store to obtain your refund.
Slam Dunk Festival, Leeds. 29-20 May 2021.
It is with a very heavy heart I have to inform you that Slam Dunk Festival 2020 is postponed to 2021. Please read the image or visit http://www.slamdunkfestival.com for the full statement from our Festival Director.
Now lets look at the travel situation with as much up to date information as I could find.
Travel and Holidays
British holidaymakers could see their summer saved as many nations are starting to reopen to tourists.
However, the UK still has a 14-day quarantine in place for anyone returning home – so you will have to take an extra two weeks off work if you want to go on holiday.
When will I be able to go back on holiday this year?
France have been the strictest on resuming overseas travel, but domestic tourism hopes to restart by July and August.
Despite previous suggestions the UK and France could form a “travel corridor” to allow visitors to avoid the checks,
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French president Emmanuel Macron are understood to have discussed travel during a meeting on June 18.
The government hopes to come to an agreement to allow Brits to freely travel across the English Channel again soon.
Spain has announced it will allow the entry of visitors from the European Union and Britain from June 21 without a quarantine.
Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said :”We will allow British visitors to enter Spain just like the rest of the European Union as from June 21 freely and without the need for a quarantine.
“We’re discussing with the UK authorities to see if they would do the same on their side, we nevertheless are doing this out of respect for the 400,000 British citizens that have a second residence in Spain and are dying to benefit from their homes in our country.
“We do hope they (the UK Government) will be sensitive to the 250,000 Spaniards that are also living in the UK and would like to enter the UK without a quarantine.”
However she added all visitors will be subject to a “triple check” to look for coronavirus symptoms on arrival at the country’s airports, and will have to register “so we know we have a contact point to trace them.”
She said: “We want to make sure that we welcome visitors, but we want to do this in safety and security for them, as well as for the Spaniards.”
Spain closed its borders on March 14 in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.
The nation has been hopeful of using tourism to help kick-start its post-Covid-19 economy.
What about flights to Europe?
Some airlines are beginning to resume flights to Europe, while others are remaining grounded for the upcoming months.
Here are the airlines which have announced plans to restart routes – and those which are yet to come.
- British Airways – to resume 50 per cent of flights by July
- Wizz Air – flying current limited schedule to Europe
- Ryanair – to resume flights by July
- EasyJet – to resume flights by June 15
- Jet2 – to resume flights by July 1
- TUI – flights grounded until mid-June
Portugal has managed to keep its number of coronavirus cases much lower than many of its European neighbours.
This has meant it has already opened up parts of its tourism industry.
Lisbon announced it is “open for business” and will start accepting international visitors again.
João Fernandes, President of Algarve Tourism added: “The Algarve is one of the least affected regions in Portugal, and so we are now in a position to carefully plan a gradual reopening of its economic and social activity”.
More than a third of the Algarve region’s hotels are already open, with plans to have 75 per cent up and running by June and 100 per cent by July.
More than a third of the Algarve region’s hotels are already open – but there is no date yet for when international visitors can return
Italy were initially one of the hardest hit countries by coronavirus, but have reduced their lockdown measures.
UK holidaymakers will be able return this summer, with borders opening to EU tourists from June 3 and no two-week quarantines for Schengen area countries.
Britain is also included in this group as Italy looks to use tourism to boost its economy as it accounts to 13 per cent of its GDP.
Italy is also believed to be a priority location for the proposed air bridges – so tourists will not face a two-week quarantine when they return to the UK.
Italy wants tourists to return, but this is only if coronavirus cases don’t spike
Greece is the most positive that tourists will return by the end of June, as long as flights resume from the UK.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the domestic tourism season will start on 15 June, with the first international holidaymakers allowed in 16 days later.
In the wake of the news, easyJet has started re-selling flights from London Gatwick to Athens.
A list of countries from which visitors will be able to arrive in Greece will be announced before the end of June.
The selection will be based on “epidemiological criteria” as determined by Greece’s committee of pandemic experts.
But the Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis told ITV News that the UK’s record on coronavirus is not good enough at the moment for Brits to be allowed to return.
“I think that the UK has a big difference in terms of the current medical status of the country with Greece, so I don’t think it’s likely it will be there,” he said.
Greece has managed to avoid high numbers of coronavirus, which could be good news for returning tourists.
Cyprus hope to welcome back tourists by July, which includes British visitors, with airports and hotels opening at beginning of June primarily for domestic tourism.
Cyprus’ deputy minister of tourism Savvas Perdios told an online conference: “On 9 June we will open our airports again for business as usual and that’s very, very important.”
However the UK might not be the first to be welcomed back.
Scientists advising the Cyprus government believe the UK has not made enough headway in containing the virus yet.
Zacharias Ioannides who heads the Cyprus Hotels Association in Nicosia, the island’s capital said: “The UK is definitely our prime market, the bread and butter of Cyprus tourism whose importance is undisputed.
“But right now health safety is of prime concern and everything depends on what epidemiologists say.”
Cyprus is the most optimistic for British travellers, but returning won’t be easy with new regulations and health measures needed.
Brits could return to Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach as soon as July as the country reduces its lockdown measures.
A state of emergency was declared on March 13 with travel bans, the closure of educational establishments and many businesses, as well allowing the police to intervene against those breaking the rules.
Bulgaria’s government had declared an epidemic emergency until June 14.
However, there are plans to open resorts in the next few months starting from July 1.
Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov announced last week: “We are moving towards actions related to the gradual restoration of social and economic life, with a focus on measures that will remain in place.”
To encourage tourists, beaches will also offer free loungers, sun beds and tables when they open again for business.
National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria leader Valeri Simeonov warned that even worst cases scenarios could see tourists again by August.
He explained: “We all very much want the tourist season to open as soon as possible. If things turn out to be worse, it may be August.”
Sunny Beach hopes to encourage tourists to return with free sun loungers.
Turkey – August
Tourists might just miss out on returning to Turkey for the summer season.
Culture minister Mehmet Ersoy explained that Turkey expected to begin domestic tourism at the end of May with beaches opening in June.
International tourists however will have to wait longer.
He added that while some tourists may be welcomed back by the end of June, other countries, including those in Europe, may not be able to enter the country until the end of July at the earliest.
This could also change at the last minute depending on the spread of the virus across Europe.
Dubai – July
Dubai want to start letting tourists back into the UAE by July, according to the tourism director general.
The UAE halted all incoming flights on March 24, with thousands left stranded after the date was moved 48 hours earlier at short notice.
Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, told Bloomberg TV: “Many countries remain closed and it’s more about the bilateral discussions.
“Is it going to be July when things start slowly opening up? Is it going to be September? We just need to make sure we’re ready if things come earlier than expected.”
Hotels are already slashing prices by 60 per cent to encourage tourists to return, but no plans have been put in place for the arrival of international visitors as of yet.
Brits are instead looking to the future, and are booking holidays in 2021 instead due to uncertainty surrounding travel this year.
Thankfully, tour operators are already putting flights and package holidays on sale, with easyJet, On The Beach and Love Holidays selling trips.
Thailand will reopen to tourists on July 1 but Brits could be banned due to our poor coronavirus record.
People will be expected to wear face masks follow social distancing and wash their hands regularly once restrictions are lifted.
According to the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s National Security Council chief has told them that the country has set July 1 for the end of all ‘business and activity lockdowns’.
Gen Somsak Roongsita told the paper that the State of Emergency brought in on March 26 to deal with the coronavirus pandemic will end in June with a ban on international travel ending at the same time.
The FCO advise against all travel to:
- the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah (currently closed due to coronavirus)
- Jammu and Kashmir, except for travel within the city of Jammu, travel by air to the city of Jammu, and travel within the Union Territory of Ladakh
The tourist destinations of Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg, the city of Srinagar and the Jammu-Srinagar national highway are within the areas where the FCO advise against all travel.
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:
- the state of Manipur, except the state capital Imphal and the Meiti Valley areas, which include Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao National Park and the Imphal War Cemetery.
There is a phased lifting of lockdown restrictions but relaxations may vary by state. A night time curfew remains in place. Lockdown restrictions continue in containment zones until 30 June.
South-Asian giant India attracts a large number of foreign tourists throughout the year. With its snow-clad mountains, numerous hill stations, the great Indian Thar Desert, pristine beaches, and coastal beauties, tourists can enjoy different attractions of the country all year round.
Many places in the country are highly dependant on tourism for the local economy, and since the pandemic has hit, they have incurred a huge loss. Currently, the nation counts over 2lakh (1 lakh = 100,000) cases with 6,087 deaths, and its trajectory is facing steep rise with every passing day.
India is a nation of diverse topography, and a hub of culture, history, and heritage. Thus it cannot deal with tourism stagnation for long. It is speculated that by the time of Indian festival Diwali, the country would be in a position to make necessary tourism developments, and might open its borders for all.
Current air traffic status
India resumed its domestic air travel from 25 May, and since then, a limited number of flight services have begun operating from several states. The progress is under strict surveillance and government-directed guidelines are being closely followed.
Recently India is working towards opening its doors for foreigners by allowing selected chartered flights. A certain category of foreign officials with their business visas can travel in India, but arrangements for international passenger flights are still on hold till the end of the month.
Who can fly to India now?
The Indian Government has decided that a few select categories of people can travel to India, like foreign businessmen on business visas, B-3 Visa for sports, foreign healthcare professionals, engineers, technicians, managerial, and design specialists on having the recognized invitation from Indian facilities, among others. Aircrafts carrying these people would meet no restrictions as imposed earlier.
Anyone that falls under those categories needs to obtain a new business visa or employment visa from Indian posts abroad, and those who already have long-term valid visas for multiple entry purposes would have to re-validate them.
How safe is it to travel around India now?
India is a vast country with several places recording a high rate of COVID-19 cases like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat. while some places like Sikkim, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Ladakh, among others have succeeded in controlling the impact of the pandemic.
Although the country is currently going through various relaxations on lockdown guidelines, it is still unsafe to travel through the country especially in the heavily affected areas. The number of cases has crossed 2lakh, even though the recovery rate has also increased. It is advisable to limit the travel within the states which are least affected, and strictly adhere to social distancing and other guidelines.
But the country probably will open some parts of the country basck up to tourism simply because they rely on the income so much. Sooner than later you will be able to return to Goa but at your own risk:
What about the hospitality industry?
Many states and union territories of India like Puducherry, Kerala, Goa, and Northeastern states depend highly upon tourism for their economies. The state governments have moved to relax restrictions on a few hospitality and tourism facilities.
It is speculated that hotels, restaurants, beaches, and more. will be open soon. The hotels and restaurants will have to arrange for limited siting capacity, provide thermal checkup, and evaluation of the Arogya Setu App for any booking. The Government is yet to announce the procedures for relaxations. Until then, it is likely that the hospitality and tourism department will need to gear up for a more cautious operation.
Now, about those nightclubs…
Nightclubs and live gigs
This one is the tricky one and boy do I miss Whirl-y-Gig.
So, how long will the wait be? Here, we take a look at when night clubs and music venues might be allowed to reopen their doors — judging by the latest government advice, as well as steps taken by other countries abroad.
What has the Government said?
As yet, the Government has given little specific detail, with no concrete dates for when nightclubs and music venues might be allowed to reopen.
On May 11, the Home Office released a 60-page document titled Our Plan To Rebuild, which plotted a three-step plan for lifting the UK lockdown. It included details of when pubs, restaurants and cinemas might be able to reopen, with July 4 mooted as the earliest possible month — and this has now come into fruition.
However, the report went on to state that “some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to reopen safely at this point, or may be able to open safely in part”.
Later on, nightclubs were referenced specifically. The report explains that “while reopening outdoor spaces and activities (subject to continued social distancing) comes earlier in the road map because the risk of transmission outdoors is significantly lower,” reopening venues whose “core purpose is social interaction (such as nightclubs)… may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in the numbers of infections.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech to the House of Commons on June 23 provided some update with regards to music venues. He said concert halls and theatres can technically reopen from July 4, but with the caveat that this would not be for live performance. It means that, effectively, they will remain shut to audiences and performers.
He also listed a number of “close proximity” venues, such as “nightclubs”, and said that these would “need to remain closed for now”.
Mr Johnson added that the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden would be overseeing a task force to allow these venues to operate in a Covid-secure way “as soon as possible”.
What about drive-in gigs?
Last week, a new series of drive-in gigs were announced, set to take place in London and other cities and beyond. The shows will follow strict safety guidelines — such as restricting movement to small private areas next to each attendee’s car — and may provide a way forward for the staging of live music during the pandemic.
What’s been happening in other countries?
Rave off: Berghain, one of Berlin’s most famous nightclubs, has been shut since March
Elsewhere in Europe, some countries have been taking tentative steps towards normality.
In Spain, one of the worst-hit nations on the continent, the government devised a phased approach. Different parts of the country are allowed to reopen venues and gradually increase capacity depending on whether regional health targets are met. First, indoor clubs are able to host 50 people and outdoor venues will operate with a capacity of 400, later increasing to 80 and 800 respectively. However, capacity will always be restricted to one-third of the venue’s total, and all attendees must be seated and 2m apart.
Italy has been doing something similar, with indoor concert halls allowed to welcome up to 200 people from June 5, provided they are seated and socially distanced.
Other countries are being more cautious — Germany has placed a ban on nightclubs until July 31 at least, while gatherings of more than 5,000 people are off the cards until October 24.
And in South Korea, nightclubs were reopened in late April, only to be shut down two weeks later after the move was linked to a spike in new infections.
What can I do to support music venues and clubs until they reopen?
As it stands, many music venues are practically unable to reopen with social distancing, with only 13 per cent of grassroots venues in the UK saying that they could do so, according to the Music Venue Trust. It means there are surely perilous times ahead for the country’s music venues. Fans can play their part in helping them survive.
For one, if you have tickets for a gig in the coming weeks and months, hold onto it rather than requesting a refund — if you are in a position to do so financially. This will help the venues keep money in the bank, and when the gig is eventually scheduled, your ticket will still be valid.
Scores of venues are also taking donations. We’ve rounded up the London venues currently crowdfunding in this guide. If your favourite venue is outside of London, then check its websites and social media pages, as it might be running an online fundraising campaign.
My conclusion regarding clubbing
It seems to me that one answer may be to travel in order to party.
Once the 14 day quarantine rule has been dropped by the UK, which I believe will be sooner than later, if you are really desperate to dance in a nightclub you can jump on a plane to Europe for a nightclubbing weekend. Many venues are open over there, so, just do your homework.
We in the UK may not see clubs reopening until summer next year (once a vaccine has been found). So consider your options you ravers.