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The Guardian view on open-air art: the way forward | Editorial

Sagacious arts organisations are looking alfresco for a return in the spring

With most of the UK emerging from a cold snap, the idea of taking culture outdoors can seem a little optimistic just now. Not that that stopped early modern Londoners, who entertained themselves mightily on the Thames when winter held it frozen for months at a time, as visualised with such verve by Virginia Woolf in her novel Orlando.

Nevertheless spring will come, summer will come – and so too will come continued restrictions on large gatherings indoors, and perhaps also outdoors. That likelihood has already been anticipated by the cancellation of the 2021 Glastonbury festival. Such cultural events, unlike TV and film production, have not been underwritten by a government-backed insurance scheme. Planning such a huge event as Glastonbury with confidence, under the distinct possibility of cancellation, clearly presented an impossible risk for organisers.

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