We’ve taken the decision to postpone the 2021 edition of Long Division Festival until September, given the ongoing Covid-19 situation.
It’s probably not all that surprising, nor is it even really big news after nearly 12 months of cancellations and postponements. But we’ve been looking at the situation since early January. We surveyed some of you, our vital audience, and we’ve spoken with lots of peers via our Association Of Independent Festivals membership. We’ve also followed government updates and guidance, for what they are worth.
Although the vaccine rollout appears to be progressing well, there is still a long way to go with current expectations being that everyone in the country will not have been offered the vaccine until September. Many events are looking at testing on entry or proof of vaccinations upon arrival but that simply doesn’t work for us. It’s possible to arrive at Long Division, see a band, then pop to Subway for your lunch with the general population of the city, then see another band. We have no control over how our audiences interact.
And to be completely honest, we feel it would be fairly insensitive to be promoting an event built around close social interaction whilst 1000s of people are dying every day.
We’re desperate to put on our first live shows in ages and get everyone together, but we’re not willing to risk lives for it. Whenever the next Long Division Festival is, it has to be amazing. Not huge, not a sell-out success, not the ‘best ever’. Just an amazing experience that we are proud of and that you will love.
September 25th is the new date for our ‘big Saturday’. All tickets will carry across. If you can, we’d ask you keep hold of your ticket. We’re not going to be making line-up announcements this side of Easter. Most bands, booking agents and venues have little idea what is happening in 2021. We want to honour as many of the artist bookings we had as possible, but we’re going to wait to see how things fall. Once the world is in a better place in May (and it will be better) we’ll start rolling out our exciting plans.
We’re focussing now on supporting music, culture and artists on a more local level through the coming months. We’ve secured funding to buy Wakefield artists a PA to make it easier to put on their own gigs when it’s safe to do so. We’ve secured funding to form a consortium of live music promoters in Wakefield – funding that will also support 48 – YES 48! – gigs over a 12 month period. Our education work is ready to go – taking Hip Hop and Punk bands into schools to play shows and deliver workshops + some free online qualifications / activities to support home schooling. And we’re working on plans to bring a rehearsal studio back to Wakefield city centre in time for the return of live music.
The major long term effect of Covid for us is that by September we will not have received festival ticket income into our account for 26 months. That’s a really long time to be running on empty. We’re not alone – we’re FAR from alone. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
Anyone who has the means and the desire to help out – there’s a few ways you can right here. Our Patreon Scheme costs as little as £3 a month and we’ve been keeping those members up to date with our plans and big news like this.
All the best and take care,
Team Long Division