The world’s biggest punk event, Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, has today been cancelled for 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The organisers had hoped that restrictions on mass gatherings might have been relaxed by the time this year’s festival comes around from August 6-9.

But with no such good news in sight, and the UK’s death toll passing 30,000 in recent days, they have made the decision to cancel now, rather than keep people hanging on.

A statement by the organisers said: “We are absolutely heartbroken to have to announce that it’s not possible for this year’s Rebellion to go ahead.

“Please keep your weekend tickets, as they will get you in to Rebellion 2021. All day tickets will be refunded.

“We have been monitoring the situation and looking at all options, and whilst we were genuinely very optimistic two months ago and honestly thought that this would all be done and dusted half a year ahead, it’s clear that as each day passes things are taking a lot longer to go back to any sense of ‘normal’.

The Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool will remain empty this August after Rebellion 2020 was cancelled. Pic: Gary Welford.

“All the indications are that mass indoor gatherings will not take place for some time to come. Obviously ticket sales have ground to a halt since the lockdown, so the conclusion we’ve come to is that even if the Winter Gardens is allowed to open in August, we won’t be able to put on the same standard of festival that you’ve all come to know and love.

“We are already losing key bands and there would be people that had bought tickets that either can’t travel (if overseas travel is still banned) or choose not to travel, and it’s unfair on them too.

“Further, we’ve listened to bands, fans and crew, and the feedback has tended to move from an optimistic and positive response, with people wanting it to happen, to many of us now reluctantly accepting that it’s not the best thing to do for our community’s health and well-being.

The organisers hope to have a great line-up in place for 2021, when Rebellion celebrates its 25th anniversary. Pic: Sue Welford.

“So for those of you that wanted us to cancel, we feel we’ve done the right thing, but for those of you that wanted us to carry on you can rest assured that we looked at every available option on how long we could keep going before we had to make an awkward decision.

“Putting on a festival of this size is a huge undertaking and our lives have been on hold with regards to pre-production and ticket sales, so to be honest we’re running out of time now to make this happen anyway.

“Rebellion 2021 is booked!! – August 5th – 8th. Next year is our 25th anniversary and we are planning an incredibly special event. We aim to come back bigger and better and put on the party that we are all going to be craving.

“It is not possible to have the same line-up, so we will be starting again for 2021. However, we’re mindful that many people keeping their tickets bought them off the back of this year’s line up, so we will do our best to re-book as many bands as we can subject to availability, budget and our plans for 2021.”

More information on refunds and other options available to ticket holders, or anyone wanting to purchase a ticket for Rebellion 2021 is available at

Gary Welford owner