WOMAD 2021 Cancellation

Posted on 28 June 2021

To our WOMAD Family,

Following today’s update and the Government’s unwillingness to provide insurance support for festivals, we are very sadly out of time and have no option but to cancel WOMAD 2021.

Peter Gabriel said: “It is with great regret that we are cancelling WOMAD ’21 today. Without the simple support of a government insurance scheme or the guarantee of Test Event status, we cannot continue and put WOMAD’s long term future at risk. We feel that our audience, artists, staff, and contractors, who have been amazingly supportive throughout all this, will understand the need for us to act to guarantee our survival.”

Since the government decision to extend the Phase 3 restrictions by at least four weeks (to the 19th of July, 72 hours before WOMAD should open its gates) we have been seeking urgent clarification from the DCMS and Public Health England as to what this means for large scale events such as WOMAD. Whilst the Prime Minister and his colleagues say there will be no restrictions on society at that point, we have been unable to get any confirmation of what the plan is. Nor is there any clarity on how what is being learned from the Event Research Programme might affect the guidance for festivals and how they are required to operate.

A few days after that extension the DCMS sought applications from festivals taking place within that extension period to join the next stage of its Event Research Programme. As WOMAD takes place after that period, we did not qualify. Subsequently and on hearing rumours that events outside that period had been granted “Event Research Programme – Test Event” status we immediately applied and contacted the DCMS and have had no response despite repeated requests.

On the BBC news last Friday, we heard that Latitude and Tramlines festivals have been granted Test Event status on the same weekend as WOMAD which clearly implies that only approved test events will be protected and guaranteed the right to go ahead as normal – even though this flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s statements.

It is the lack of government backed insurance along with these actions that have forced WOMAD to cancel. We have not been asking for financial support; all we have wanted is certainty in the form of insurance against cancellation (that we’d be happy to pay for). We need an understanding of the realities of how our industry works and the benefits that we bring. The industry should see equal access to support and a much less opaque way of deciding who gets help.
It does seem a little bizarre that a five-day camping event at Silverstone is a risk worth taking and independent festivals alas are not. With 140,000 people attending the Silverstone Grand Prix it certainly doesn’t seem to be supported by science – as even Lewis Hamilton has commented.

At WOMAD, we are indebted to our audiences, artists, and suppliers for the love and support we have received, which has only increased as we have tried to climb the mountain that kept growing in front of us. We hope you will continue to hang in there with us, and as for options of ticket refunds or rollovers to 2022, we hope as many of you as possible will consider rolling your tickets over to join us next year from 28 – 31st July 2022 – It’s easy, do nothing and your ticket will automatically roll over.

WOMAD 2022 here we come!

Peter Gabriel and The WOMAD Team x

Ticketing options for WOMAD Customers

Ticketline Customers:

All Ticketline order automatically rolled over to WOMAD 2022, which will take place 28th – 31st July 2022. If you did not request a refund, your ticket will have automatically rolled over to WOMAD 2022. Any Camp WOMAD bookings which were valid at the point of the festival cancellation will also be rolled over for a like-for-like booking to the 2022 festival. It is our intention to rollover all orders by the autumn.

We know not everyone will be able to make the new dates, or may prefer a refund. In order to request a refund, please complete the form sent to all Ticketline customers in the following days. The form will allow you to submit a refund request for your WOMAD order.  Please note, all refund requests will be accepted until 30th September 2021. 

All forms will be sent to the email addresses attached to the original WOMAD order. If you are struggling to locate the form, please check your spam and junk folders or contact our team at info@womad.org with the your order number and email address linked with your previous WOMAD order. We must advise this process may take longer than processing your form directly with Ticketline. If you have already sent a request via email to our team, please still complete your form to make sure your request is processed.

Due to experiencing high number of enquiries at this time, we ask for you to remain patient as our team get back to you as soon as possible.

Refunds for all Ticketline orders are still being processed and can take up to 60 days to reach your account, so please be patient. Please do not contact your ticket provider directly to issue your refund, please contact our team at info@womad.org.

Anyone awaiting Ticketline refunds, please do not contact your credit card company. By doing this, it will slow the process down and place an additional burden on our team to respond.

Eventbrite Customers Information:

All Eventbrite tickets will be automatically rolled over to WOMAD 2022, which will take place 28th – 31st July 2022. If you did not request a refund, your ticket will have automatically rolled over to WOMAD 2022. Any Camp WOMAD bookings which were valid at the point of the festival cancellation will also be rolled over for a like-for-like booking to the 2022 festival. It is our intention to rollover all orders by the autumn.

We know not everyone will be able to make the new dates, or may prefer a refund. In order to request a refund, please contact our team at info@womad.org with the your order number and email address linked with your previous WOMAD order. Please note, all refund requests will be accepted until 30th September 2021.

Due to experiencing high number of enquiries at this time, we ask for you to remain patient as our team get back to you as soon as possible. Please allow a few days for a response from our team.

Refunds for all Eventbrite orders are still being processed and can take up to 60 days to reach your account, so please be patient. Please do not contact your ticket provider directly to issue your refund, please contact our team at info@womad.org.

Anyone awaiting Eventbrite refunds, please do not contact your credit card company. By doing this, it will slow the process down and place an additional burden on our team to respond. In the event of an issue with your tickets, please contact our team at info@womad.org with any questions.