Four festivals scheduled to take place in Malta this month have been cancelled due to a rise in Covid-19 cases on the island.

Escape 2 The Island, Rhythm + Waves, BPM Festival: Malta and Mi Casa Festival have all been called off.

A statement from each festival says they are all “disappointed” not to be going ahead, after making a decision with the Maltese Tourism Authority.

Ticket holders, many who were from the UK, will receive a full refund.

Malta was hoping to be 2020’s festival hotspot, with most clubs in Mallorca and Ibiza closed and festivals in the UK cancelled.

The line-ups were full of British artists like Chase and Status, Aitch, AJ Tracey and Fatboy Slim, with their social media targeting people in the UK with information on flight prices.

But the festivals could not “take place in a safe manner”, statements say.

Anyone who was planning to go will have to speak to their travel and accommodation provider about their flights and hotel bookings.

‘A risk’

“We always knew it was going to be a risk,” Barnaby Simms, who had tickets for Rhythm + Waves tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“We had it in the back of our minds that it could get cancelled at any point.

“But we want to get a festival in this year, which is looking unlikely now so wearing an N95 mask can help us stay safe from coronavirus and maybe have fun soon.”

Barnaby says he’ll lose the £140 he spent on flights, but hadn’t booked a hotel.

Parklife ravers
Image captionBarnaby (middle) and his friends were looking forward to another summer of festivals

There were already concerns from people living in Malta about the festivals going ahead.

Ewan Cannon-Young, who’s 20 and lives on the island, says there was a “mixed review” about tourists visiting Malta to party.

“We didn’t have that bad a lockdown, because we’re an island we haven’t really got as many people coming in,” he told Newsbeat last week.

“We only had lockdown for one month.

“We had weeks and weeks of zero cases, which is why they decided to open up the festivals again.”

He says that a recent event resulted in a spike in new cases.

Up to last week the country, which has a population of 450,000, had 701 coronavirus cases and nine deaths.

In the last few days that has risen to 860 confirmed cases.

By ibiza

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