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2021 - UPDATE *Feb*

2021 - UPDATE *Feb*

Date: 28/02/2021 - 15:14


Further to the governments announcement that all ‘normal life’ with ‘no restrictions’ is expected to start on June 21st, we thought we’d update you with where we currently stand on this and perhaps shed some light on what is actually happening behind the scenes and what it means in the real world for events like ours.

Firstly, we’re hopeful that with the government publishing timelines it indicates that there’s finally a chance for live music to start again. We know bands, crew, fans and venues are excited to get back to doing what we love and are passionate about. However, we’re mindful that these are guidelines that are dependent on achieving things at stages before then and that as we’ve seen over the last year (especially at Christmas) things can change at the 11th hour. However, like a lot of live events we are now optimistic that something can take place.

To that end it’s all systems go at Rebellion HQ and we’re continuing to put plans in place for our usual event alongside a number of contingency plans. Unlike other events however that are  stating they’re ‘definitely’ happening etc we are proceeding cautiously and wanted to let you all know the truth about what is happening in our sector as some of the reports we’ve seen online and in the news are misleading.

Whilst there’s some guidelines for indoor gigs and capacity etc already published, there’s no indication yet on what format festivals will have to follow in order to be allowed to open. The government are running a programme of consultation and pilot events in March and April called the EVENTS RESEARCH PROGRAMME which will look at various options and they will make a decision on how events like ours will be allowed to go ahead. These results are expected in May.

There may well be ‘no restrictions’ as hinted at but it’s far more likely that there will be some form of safety controls imposed. These could take a number of formats. They could insist on Covid Tests (Lateral Flow Tests) on entry to venues, vaccine passports, an aviation model whereby you arrive at the event having proof of a negative test prior to arrival etc etc. Until we know what we are legally obliged to do, it’s impossible for us to tell you what sort of format Rebellion will run in. Hence we’re working with the Winter Gardens for one scenario and working with the council for an alternative outdoor scenario or a mixture of the two.

We’ve seen a lot of speculation online and a lot of comments regarding us and other festivals. We’d urge you all to just bear with us and trust that we will do what is best for the future of Rebellion and the safety of everyone. Not all festivals are the same and all come with their own challenges. For every fest that is confirming they’re going ahead, there’s another that is rolling over for another year when there will hopefully be more certainty. Rebellion is UNIQUE in that we’re the only festival in the UK that is multistage (7), multiple days (4), over 350 artists, based in a heavily populated urban centre and crucially INDOORS. Plus we allow re-entry. Testing on the door of a nightclub and staying in one place all night or testing on arrival to a field before pitching your tent for a festival, is vastly different to our set up, with people nipping back to their B&Bs and popping to the pub and mixing with the general public.

So we really need to see what the guidelines are going to be so we can make a call on how to run it.

We appreciate that for every person keen to come (and if last year is anything to go by will be going to Blackpool regardless) there are many that either won’t want to come or that can’t attend due to travel restrictions imposed by other countries. We’re also aware that the UK is way ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to vaccinations. In reality there will be some bands that will have to postpone until 2022 due to these things. However, line – up is not an issue as we always have many bands available and would always put on the best event we can. But we understand that for some it maybe a choice not to attend and for other it may be out of their control not to attend.

So where does that leave things?

Well, the current announcement states that events WILL happen this summer. The government are now ACTIVELY working on a programme to determine what format they’ll have to follow. So with that in mind our current situation has to be ‘business as usual’ as we don’t want to get to June, find out we CAN go ahead and not have started any of the preparation. It usually takes a full year to pull off an event like this!

TICKETS – whatever happens, your tickets are safe. 2020 tickets have rolled over to 2021. If we’re forced to postpone or the restrictions mean that it’s an event that is not practical / logistically possible to stage, then all 2020 and 2021 tickets will roll over to 2022. So again, they’re safe. Our MID PRICE tickets usually end on MARCH 31st but with all this uncertainty we’re going to extend that deadline until MAY 31st. We will know by the end of May whether we’re in the Winter Gardens but with restricted capacity in some rooms or if it’s a full event, or if we’re outside, whether we have to put on a scaled back event etc. So now is the time to buy tickets and still save money knowing that in the worse case scenario, like other events, they will just roll over.

We’re trying to be optimistic and all signs are pointing to events post June 21st being able to operate. We just need to know what our obligations are and if that fits in with the Rebellion way of doing things.

Ultimately everyone’s safety is our main concern. The Winter Gardens have confirmed that they are “Good To Go!” They have been awarded the Visit England “We’re good to go” Industry Standard. This confirms that Winter Gardens Blackpool meets the Government and Public Health Guidance on COVID-19 measures being in place to ensure a safe visit for Guests. This is constantly being reviewed and if we have to change the set up internally with one way systems for entry / exit and moving around the building etc then we will obviously do so. There’s obviously a lot to consider and that’s why our social media posts have been quieter than usual as there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure that (if possible) we can put on the best event within whatever guidelines we are given. If you were to ask us NOW if we’d stick 10,000 in one venue the answer would obviously be no. But we’ve still got 5 months until Rebellion and things can change drastically in that time. The vaccine rollout is seemingly a gamechanger. There’s a chance that events take place where everyone is vaccinated and tested and Covid free. But that is a huge logistical undertaking and might not fit with our set up. We have a responsibility to our bands, staff, the people of Blackpool and to YOU, so regardless of what we can / can’t do we will also take a view based on the situation at the time (rather than now).

We always read your comments and appreciate that many people have strong views on such emotive subjects. We do take everything on board even if we don’t reply directly.

As it stands, the line up is as it is (we do have others ‘confirmed’ but we’re holding back on new announcements). Tickets are still on sale and discounted for a longer period. We’re hopeful that we can see as many of you as possible in August. It may become apparent before May what we’re doing but to avoid any doubt or speculation please be aware that anything is just a rumour until you hear it directly from us. We will always keep you updated with information with statements on here as and when we have something to communicate.

As ever, we’re thankful for your love and support over the years. It’s tough for everyone involved in Live Music but with your continued support we’ll all pull through. Stay safe!



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Street Teams


We’re always looking for help with flyers etc. Please contact us via the form below if you are able to help flyer gigs in your area. Also, if you know of any good record shops, clothes shops etc that would put up a poster or stick flyers on their counter, please let us know or become part of the Street Team and we’ll send you some to drop in the shop yourself.


At the Edge



AT THE EDGE is a little haven in the middle of all the chaos where you will find our Fringe Festival events. The PunkArt exhibition is now well established and joined by craft stalls and vintage clothing. The Literary stage also brings great interviews, spoken word and poetry performances ….For news about this year…


Other Gigs