Music festival goers in the UK are used to braving mud, rain and sleepless nights for their music idols, but this year however, foot and mouth is proving a more damaging threat, with doubts surrounding whether these events will be staged.

One of the largest blues music gatherings in Europe, The Bishopstock Blues Festival was due to take place in Devon on 26-28 May with the likes of Ray Charles and Buddy Guy playing. This has already been postponed until the end of August, as organisers fear the role it may play in spreading the highly contagious virus further.

In Winchester meanwhile, the city council head of licensing, Fred Masters, explained to Music Week magazine that the dance festival Homelands "is a cause for concern because [it] could, in effect, cause an outbreak.

Homelands is expected to attract 50,000 people this year, and while the event's promoters are confident that it will still take place with adequate precautionary measures, Masters added ominously: "As the situation stands at the moment, personally I'd expect the local landowning farmer to be strung from the nearest tree if this event goes ahead."

Elsewhere, visitors to the Mezzanine May Day Ball, near Oxford on 6 May, will face disinfectant pads at the entrance. Organisers have stressed that the Leeds Festival, All Tomorrow's Parties, T In The Park, V2001 and the Reading and Womad Festivals will go ahead, probably with similar precautionary measures.

Other events, such as the new Big Festival, have said that they will go ahead but have abandoned plans for on-site camping because of foot and mouth.

Festival goers are advised to keep an eye on the event's websites, for ultimately the decision to cancel or postpone will be down to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

UK festival list:
All Tomorrow's Parties (6-8 April)
Mezzanine Mayday Ball Oxford (6 May)
Planet Love, Belfast (6-7 May)
Homelands England (26 May)
Ozzfest (26 May)
Gatecrasher Summer Soundsystem (16 June)
T In The Park (7-8 July)
The Big Festival, Milton Keynes (27-29 July)
WOMAD (27-29 July)
Ministry @ Knebworth (11 Aug)
V2001, Essex (18-19 Aug)
Reading Festival (24-26 Aug)
Leeds Festival (25-27 Aug)