The council has played down suggestions Reading Festival will go ahead this summer.

Reading Festival has confirmed its intention to go ahead with the event this August, but a Reading councillor has cautioned that no decision has yet been made.

Festival Republic, organisers of Reading and Leeds Festival made an announcement on Wednesday, February 24, tweeting: “Reading and Leeds 2021. Following the government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer LET’S GO #RandL21”.

READ MORE: Reading Festival will be going ahead this summer, organisers confirm

And Festival Republic director Melvin Benn told The Guardian “We’re enthusiastic, we’re excited, and we’re certain that it’s going to go ahead”.

But councillor Graeme Hoskin, speaking at Reading’s Covid-19 Outbreak Engagement Board meeting on Friday, February 26, said “nothing has been agreed”.

He said: “What’s become apparent from comments on social media and people contacting the council is that some people are under the impression that the council has approved Reading Festival taking place this summer.

“That is not the case. Reading has not, and nor has anyone else, agreed anything. But, certainly, the announcement is the intention of Reading Festival to happen.

“That is going to be a major item for our licensing department and various other national bodies to consider but nothing has been agreed by the council.”

A spokesman for the council added: "Reading Festival is a major highlight of the cultural calendar in Reading and, like everyone, the council would love to see it return this summer.

"The council notes Festival Republic’s announcement last week that it would like to push ahead with this year’s festival, but the government has been clear its roadmap is dependent on many aspects.

"For large events like the festival, the Government plans to pilot testing approaches from April.

"The outcome of that work, alongside event information submitted by Festival Republic and national guidance, will help the council and public health colleagues make a decision on whether the festival can go ahead safely this summer.”

Reading Festival

Reading Festival

According to plans announced on Monday, the government hopes to lift all remaining restrictions on social contact by June 21 at the earliest.

This would mean larger events such as Reading Festival can go ahead and nightclubs can finally reopen.

Cllr Hoskin is the lead member for Health at Reading Borough Council (RBC) and was discussing the festival as part of a discussion on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

The event sold out on Thursday, February 25 following the festival’s confirmation it planned to go ahead with the event.

READ MORE: Reading Festival SOLD OUT

In a statement on the festival website, organisers said: “After the year we had, it was always going to happen.

“We never lost faith, and today we’re excited to say that – thanks to everyone who managed to purchase a ticket – Reading Festival 2021 is now officially SOLD OUT.

“It’s going to be a summer to remember, and we can’t wait to welcome you back into the fields.”

Festival Republic director Melvin Benn, however, told the Guardian the event does not yet have insurance as it was currently impossible to buy, but added that he is hopeful the government will include an insurance package “in some form or another” in next week’s budget.

(190861) Headliners Foo Fighters perform on the main stage on day three of Reading Festival. Picture by Emma Sheppard.

(190861) Headliners Foo Fighters perform on the main stage on day three of Reading Festival. Picture by Emma Sheppard.

Reading Festival takes place on August bank holiday weekend from August 27 to Sunday, August 29 in Richfield Avenue.

Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Post Malone, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Disclosure and Queens Of The Stone Age are all scheduled to headline across the weekend.

Acts including Charli XCX, Yungblud, rapper Jack Harlow, rockers Neck Deep and Norwegian singer-songwriter Sigrid were recently added to the bill.

The UK festival circuit has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic with its 2020 season effectively wiped out.

In January Glastonbury was cancelled for a second successive year after organisers said they had tried to “move heaven and earth”.

Festivals added £1.76 billion in gross value to the economy in 2019, with almost one in three Brits watching Glastonbury on TV.