Shoreham tribute festival will be "completely safe"

The man behind a major open-air tribute festival heading to Shoreham next year is predicting outdoor events will bounce back strongly. His point is that they have got to.

Nick Conrad
Nick Conrad

Nick Conrad, who runs the Legends Festival across the UK, says it is vital that we find ways to make such events safe and viable: “The fact is that we can’t just live two metres apart and on furlough. We have got to find a way to get back. It is vital for the country, for jobs, for tourism, vital that we create money so that we can continue to fund the NHS.

“The reality is that it is going to feel slightly bizarre to go a concert and not to be as close with everyone else as you would usually be, but the biggest factor is that we are just all going to have to get used to the new normal.

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“We are going to be living in a different age and people will feel more comfortable if they are further apart, but all of that will be overridden by the heightened desire to get back out there. And the thing that will give it a great atmosphere will be the sheer relief. We have got to be able to go out. We need something to look forward. We have got to find ways to enjoy the short British summer that we have got.”

Nick is convinced that he and the team can make sure everyone is perfectly safe – whatever the expense to the company.

The event is planned for the Adur Recreational Ground on Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4 2021.

The Saturday will see tributes to Queen, Take That, Robbie Williams, Madness and Coldplay; the Sunday will see tributes to Abba, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Elton John and George Michael.

“Thirteen of the world’s biggest arena tribute acts will play on our massive outdoor stage over two days. The Legends Festival enshrines each star’s legacy allowing fans a chance, once again, to enjoy the majesty of their world-renowned performances. We exclusively use internationally endorsed touring artists seen by millions across the globe.

“And because we are working all over the UK we have got the benefit of working with safety advisory groups right the way across the country. We are working with extremely experienced health and safety people – and we are extremely experienced ourselves. And even if we have completely come out of lockdown next year, we will still have measures that promote cleanliness across the site, that reduce point to point contact where people are touching things other people will touch, like toilets. We will be looking at how people clean their hands, about how they sanitise.”

Nick and the team are looking at cleaning the toilets after single use – which will inevitably mean greater numbers of toilets: “Everything that costs us money we will do; everything that we need to do.

“Our concerts will be safer than going to school or hospital or the office or the doctors’ surgery or even the supermarket.

“The pathogens spread far, far less outdoors.

“People bring their own food and their own chairs. It is not like you are sharing tables as in a restaurant. The concerts will be very, very safe.”

The key thing that the government must do is to differentiate between events of different kinds and to recognise that the risk elements are different at each: that we behave very differently at a football match to the way we behave at a gig or the way we behave in a theatre.

Then we can start to recognise the new normal that will prevail, Nick believes – and in that context, with all the measures he will put in place, he is promising complete safety at his Shoreham event next year.

He believes the public are already recognising that. Ticket sales are already off to a flyer.

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