For the past few weeks, there’s been a big question mark over whether Defected’s biggest event of the year in Croatia would still be able to happen. Simon Dunmore, label boss, frequently mentions that he’s quietly optimistic that the event will go ahead. His reluctance to state something more brash is pretty sensible, in the circumstances.
For one festival, however, they’ve made the decision now to pull the plug. The 13,000 capacity Hideout Festival – originally due to take place in early September – have concluded that putting on the event this year is simply too risky. In a series of tweets, they cite “the current travel restrictions and the unpredictable nature of the traffic light system, plus the increase in cases and the roadmap for large events in Croatia” as the explanation for this decision.
Admittedly, Defected Croatia is not an event on the same scale. The capacity at Garden Tisno is 2,500 – but different questions apply. For starters, the event would currently be against Croatian law. Covid restrictions in Croatia right now state that all public gatherings must be finished by 10pm and have no more than 100 in attendance. Nightclubs are also closed. The rules are due to be reviewed next week.
There are also factors at home here. In the UK, there were 28,773 new cases confirmed yesterday alone. At that rate, that’s some 200,000 new infections a week. And the Health Secretary openly warned in Parliament that once nearly all restrictions in England are removed in a few weeks time, cases could run at up to 100,000 a day.
Such a high infection rate in the UK is something that’s going to petrify the Croatian authorities, not to mention the European Union. Are they really going to want thousands of British travellers coming into their country in those circumstances?
I do hope Dunmore’s optimism is well placed, but these signs don’t look great…