Rail strikes “risk misery” for music fans as half of Glastonbury trains are cancelled

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This week’s rail strikes are set to “risk misery” for thousands of live music fans, the chief executive of UK Music has warned ahead of the start of Glastonbury 2022.

Today (June 21) marks the first of three planned national rail strikes in the UK this week, with further strikes planned for Thursday (June 23) and Saturday (June 25). Passengers have been urged to avoid all but essential travel this week.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) is striking over “an aggressive agenda” of cuts to jobs, conditions, pay and pensions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged commuters to “stay the course”.

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According to BBC News, the strikes are causing widespread disruption across England, Wales and Scotland, with about 20 per cent of services running.

More than half of the trains that were set to run from London to Castle Cary, the closest station to the Glastonbury festival site, have been cancelled due to the strikes. Festivalgoers have been advised to make alternative travel arrangements, with gates set to open tomorrow (June 22).

Speaking about the impact that the strikes will have on the live music industry, UK Music’s chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said that the action will “risk misery” for thousands of music fans who are “desperate” to get back to Glastonbury.

“These strikes risk misery for hundreds of thousands of music fans across the country who have been desperate to get back to festivals after two years of lockdowns,” he said (via i News).

Festivalgoers board trains at Paddington station to travel to Castle Cary station for Glastonbury Festival (Picture: Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

“Thousands of music fans will face a huge struggle to get to Glastonbury because of the disruption, which will add to road traffic at a time when we’re working hard to improve sustainability in the music industry.”

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Njoku-Goodwin added: “These strikes come at a crucial time for the live music industry and music businesses, which are just getting back on their feet post-pandemic.

“It’s vital that all sides get around the table to bring these strikes to an end to deliver a much-needed financial boost to the music industry.”

Glastonbury festivalgoers who are set to be affected by the rail strikes can head here for more information on alternative travel arrangements.

In other Glastonbury news, The Chemical Brothers are among the rumoured acts who could play a secret set during this weekend’s festival.