Row erupts as Ampthill Festival asks ticket holders to prove their Covid status

But organisers say many are reassured by the safety measure

By Clare Turner
Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 4:20 pm

A row has flared up on Facebook after the organisers of Ampthill Festival announced anyone attending the event would have to prove their Covid status.

Although promoters are following advice from Bedfordshire County Safety Advisory Group as well as their own health and safety consultant, some festival-goers are far from happy.

One user described the decision as "medical discrimination".


While another asked if the festival would be refunding ticket holders who may not have been vaccinated fully.

But Mark Tiana, chair of Ampthill Festival, was quick to respond to Bedford Today to put readers' minds at rest.

He said: “We knew that the decision to use the NHS Covid pass would not be liked by everyone, but we are a local volunteer run festival and felt the need to protect our community the best we could, and to take the local authority advice. Many people have told us this measure is giving them great reassurance.

And he added: "We’re just minimising the risk of infection at our festival and taking best practice from other festivals where it has worked well. It’s none of our business whether people have been vaccinated or not.


"The NHS App Covid pass doesn’t show us whether people are vaccinated or not – just that they are either vaccinated, have a negative lateral flow test, or have antibodies from having had Covid in the past. People are absolutely free to simply do a lateral flow test.”

If you haven't got proof of a double jab, you can produce a negative lateral flow test within 48 hours of arrival or have NHS proof of your natural immunity based on a positive PCR test taken within 180 days of the performance.

The festival - which takes place between September 3 and 5 - features Roger Sanchez, Judge Jules, Kissy Sell Out and Ashley James on the Friday, McFly, Ash and Sleeper as part of AmpRocks on the Saturday and Abba tribute Arrival, Masseoke sings the musicals, Brainiac live and TV magician John Archer on the Sunday.