Goodwood Festival of Speed 2021 to go ahead as part of Covid safety pilot

Motoring extravaganza allowed to proceed as part of Events Research Programme

The 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed will go ahead as planned (Photo: Drew Gibson)
The 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed will go ahead as planned (Photo: Drew Gibson)

The 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed is to go ahead as planned after organisers confirmed it would form part of the Government’s Covid Events Research Programme (ERP).

The future of the event had been in doubt after plans to ease restrictions in England on 21 June were abandoned.

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Due to a rise in the number of Covid cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed the relaxation, putting a pause on any events with more than 4,000 attendees.

'Mr Goodwood' Sir Stirling Moss will be among the drivers celebrated at the 2021 Festival of Speed (Photo: Adam Beresford)

With three of the four days sold out, that put the Festival of Speed at risk of being cancelled but organisers and government officials have confirmed that it will run as planned as part of the pilot to assess risk at public events.

The ERP will bring additional conditions for anyone attending but the event’s capacity hasn’t changed and anyone who already has a ticket, including those carried over from 2020 will be able to attend.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “We are continuing to expand the Events Research Programme’s remit to include more of our iconic cultural and sporting events and the Goodwood Festival of Speed will now return for the first time since the pandemic broke.

“Festival goers will now be able to enjoy the raw horsepower of Goodwood’s legendary automotive, aeronautical and equine offerings up close thanks to our tremendous vaccine rollout and the increasingly popular use of the NHS App to prove your Covid status.”

When is the Festival of Speed?

The Goodwood Festival of Speed runs from Thursday, 8 July until Sunday, 11 July 2021 at the Goodwood House, Chichester.

Are Festival of Speed tickets still available?

Organisers say that the event is sold out across Friday, Saturday and Sunday but that a limited number of tickets remain for Thursday, 8 July.

Anyone who has already bought a standard ticket, hospitality or grandstand pass will be able to attend as long as they meet the ERP conditions, and all tickets carried over from last year’s 2020 event also remain valid.

What are the extra conditions?

As part of the ERP pilot, all people on site will need to have had both doses of the vaccine at least 14 days before the event, or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test within 48 hours of the event.

Further conditions around NHS Test and Trace involvement and consent to take part in the research will be confirmed shortly.

What is the Events Research Programme?

The ERP is a government study to examine the risk of Covid-19 transmission at events and work out ways to allow live events such as festivals to operate safely. Other pilot events have included the FA Cup final, the Brit Awards and the Download music festival.

What is this year’s Festival of Speed theme?

After all three Goodwood meets were cancelled last year, the Festival of Speed is returning in 2021 to celebrate “The Maestros - Motorsport’s Great All-Rounders”.

The four-day event will celebrate the drivers, teams and manufacturers who have enjoyed success across a variety of motorsport disciplines.

Regular highlights including the spectacular hillclimb, Future Lab and timed shootout will be taking place along with rally car legends battling on the Forest Stage and the debut of new road cars from a variety of brands.

Current Formula 1 teams and drivers including Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo will be in attendance and the lawn in front of Goodwood House will once again be lined with the pick of the classic crop in the Cartier Style et Luxe concourse d’elegance.