The return of Long Division, the largest Music & Culture event in the Wakefield and a celebration of Independence and DIY Culture for 2016.
About the project
Long Division is a weekend music and culture festival that takes place in Wakefield City Centre each year in June.
"It was the existence of Long Division that gave me the confidence to bring back Unity Hall as a music venue." - Chris Hill (Unity Works Developer).
Since its formation in 2011, Long Division has led the way in develping Wakefield as a respected and revered musical and cultural destination. It is run by a very small but dedicated group of people who wanted to showcase Wakefield's often overlooked musical talents to a wider audience.
"Absolutely invaluable to us, the biggest showcase of the year for bands and venues in the city. Makes me proud to tears every year." - Rob Dee (Philophobia Music, Wakefield).
Using a range of city centre venues, it now attracts 3000 people each year, showcasing local talent by placing them alongside national artists. It has consistently produced line-ups amongst the strongest and most value for money across the whole country.
"Made by Music fans, for Music fans." - Louder Than War.
With little to no resources, the Long Division team have put Wakefield on the map and created a festival that is respected across the industry, that has booked over 500 artists in 5 years, paid them over £120,000, used 25 venues and generated an estimated £350,000 income for city centre businesses.
"I've been involved in one way or another in Wakefield's music scene for over 25 years and Long Division is without doubt the best thing to have happened musically in that period, probably ever." - Chris Charlton (Protectors / Two Man Cuppy / Pylon / Chopper)
This All Sounds Great - Why Crowdfunding?
Long Division costs around £60,000 to put on, with all the profits going to bands and volunteers. For every £1 we recieve from ticket sales we spend at least £2.50 on the event, so funding and sponsorship are essential.
But they have become harder to raise. In 2015 - despite being our best event yet - we lost £25,000 in expected funding from the local authority and the Arts Council. This has had a near fatal effect on the financial future of the event.
"I feel very strongly that events of this nature contribute significantly to the local economy and in Wakefield's case consolidate an emerging appreciation of Wakefield's progressive and enlightened relationship with music and the arts." - Stewart Henderson (Chemikal Underground, Glasgow).
So here is the plan. We raise the first 10% of the festival budget through this Crowdfunding Campaign. That will gurantee the festival can take place on June 10th - 12th, 2016.
This then provides fantastic evidence of local support for the event which (alongside the 100+ testimonials we have collected from across the industry) can then be taken forward for inclusion in funding applications and potential high level festival sponsors.
Why does Long Division need to survive? Watch our campaign video for more detail but essentially:
- Huge economic value to the city.
- The best exposure possible for local artists in Wakefield.
- Profits put back into the creative community.
- Consistently attracting national artists and raising the reputation of the city within the industry.
- Creates a sense of pride in the city.
"To a young musician in Wakefield, the experience of playing the festival is invaluable. The exposure and contacts you make on the day are great. Friendships formed with other bands means more gigs and exposure, not just in Wakefield but around the country. To a young band rehearsing in their garage in Wakefield, the festival is an exciting milestone for them to aim for." - Michael Ainsley (The Ainsley Band, Wakefield).
If we are unable to raise the initial 10% upfront, it will be very difficult for the team to secure the additional funding and to justify the personal risk involved in continuing to run the festival.
Fans & Bands:
Long Division has the best festival audience we've ever experienced. We've tried to find some unique and interesting ways to get you involved. But we are a festival that relies on word of mouth and goodwill. So spread the word. Come to us with fundraising ideas or new rewards for this campaign. Tell people why Long Division matters to you.
"Long Division 2015 was hands down the best festival I played at or attended this year. None of the corporate festivals can really hold a candle to Long Division. It would be a massive loss to the North Of England music scene if Long Division was unable to continue." - Damien Hughes (Allusondrugs, Wakefield).
Q: Why can't we buy regular tickets as part of the campaign?
A: We need to raise money in addition to our usual ticket income. If the campaign is successful you will be the first to hear about them going on sale.
We have included lots of ways for local and Indepedent businesses to get involved with Long Division in 2016. We bring in over £100,000 in secondary spend to Wakefield businesses each year. That could be your business.
If you have an idea for something that isn't here, want to get involved on a larger scale or would like further information on our audience data please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Long Division is an exciting, important music and arts festival. It puts Wakefield firmly on the map of the UK Festival Circuit and showcases the amazing venues and musicians of the sometimes undervalued city and its creative residents, inspiring those within it." - Nick Simcock (Dead Young Records, Leeds).
We thank you for your time and hope you can help make Long Division 2016 a reality.
Dean Freeman & Team Long Division
The festival is very well put together by an incredibly dedicated staff. And the lineup - fantastic! Really well thought out and structured. Couldn't have asked for more. Now, when are we coming back?! - Rick McMurray (Ash, Northern Ireland)
We've had a number of bands play Long Division over the last five years and it's always been an event that the artists have enjoyed hugely. Outside of Leeds, there aren't a huge number of options in the Yorkshire area for artists to showcase and play in the summer months (and otherwise), so it's an event we have come to rely on as part of our album release campaigns. I hope that it's an event that can continue and can be supported in the area and we can continue our relationship with the excellent bookers and organisers. - Gareth Dobson (Wichita Recordings, London).
It is central to Wakefield's music scene and provides a great platform for young artists. It gives them valuable experience to further their potential. To end Long Division would be to rip a hole through the centre of Wakefield's music scene. - Alan Nutton (Wah Wah Records, Wakefield)
With Long Division and the recent renovation of the superb Unity Hall, I think there has been an awakening, a renewed interest in popular music culture in Wakefield. It will deliver rich rewards if proper investment is put in place now to ensure its continued success and development. Long Division is the calling card and once a year celebrates this musical community by bringing together musicians from all over the UK to play, meet, plan and further broaden the reach of Wakefield's valuable Arts industry. - Emma Pollock (Chemikal Underground, Glasgow).
My three years working for Long Division festival were some of the most intense and fanatical times of my life. But the end result every year is incredible. I have met so many people from around the country, and world, who came to Wakefield specifically for Long Division Festival. It should be celebrated by everyone who lives there and supported by all as it truly is an incredible event. - Matt Sidebottom (Graphic Designer, London)
An excellent festival showcasing great creative bands and in a part of the UK that is usually under-represented! - Jeffrey Lewis (New York)
It is so important for the community, giving independent artists and musicians a platform to perform and it allows local businesses to get involved and share in the success. Long Division Festival creates a fantastic atmosphere throughout the city centre and sends positive messages to visitors about Wakefield; celebrating local talent in an affordable, enjoyable, accessible way. - Emma (Beam / The Orangery)
Long Division is my personal cultural highlight of the year. Long Division has not only directly funded me to run a project but also funds the bands of the city who in turn have used the money to record at my studio. The resulting recordings have then gone on to propel such bands further affield. - James Brown (Top Five Studios)
The intergration of the festival within the town makes it feel welcoming, inclusive and exciting. The calibre of talent it attracts is unparalled by any other festival of its size in the UK. We always make sure to include Wakefield in our tour schedules now and I know a number of artists who do the same solely because of Long Division - David McGregor (Kid Canaveral, Glasgow).
A lot of festival goers come from outside the city and they are unanimously complimentary of the festival and the city as a whole, bringing a great sense of pride to the local people, whether organisers, musicians, staff or local punters. It is, therefore, a tremendous advertisement for the city in general and, more specifically, it's cultural vision. - Gary Cotton (On The Ride, Wakefield).
An incredibly important date for local businesses in the area, especially for Wakefield's developing night-life. Collaboration between venues and the organisers helped boost revenues around the city. It meant a great weekend for Wakefield and WE WANT MORE!! - Nathan Birkinshaw (Bar Manager, Unity Works).
The annual zenith of cultural achievement in Wakefield. - Jeff T Smith (Juffage, Leeds).
Long Division pushed us and many other local bands to step up to the mark. Long Division creates opportunities for local bands, artists, venues, record labels, record shops, recording studios, cafes, restaurants, caterers and many others. It is my favourite inner city festival and I will be extremely sad for Wakefield if Long Division doesn't return. - Alice Scott (Post War Glamour Girls, Leeds).
For me, as a young artist, it has kicked started my music career and after performing at my first Long Division in 2014 it enabled me to produce my first EP and start gigging. It's a great way to meet friends and musicians who obviously have the same interests as you. - Loz Campbell (Wakefield).
An incredible spike of creativity in a sea of nothing. Wakefield for the longest time had successfully done very little when it comes to music events and Long Division completely turned that on its head. Year on year it gets bigger and better. Wakefield needs Long Division, but i'm concerned that it will only truly discover that fact when it has gone. - Adam Hayward (Copy Paste Repeat, Leeds).
Long Division Festival is a vital part of Wakefield's annual cultural calender and its DIY ethic encourages participation and positive engagement through the arts. - Fran (Beam / The Orangery).
Long Division is an ambitious grassroots music festival with a heart; long may it run. - Dan Willson (Withered Hand).
Sometimes you feel a bit fed up, and then it's the lead up to Long Division and it's like a'best of' Wakefield and you're back in love. Not just the music, but everything - the culture, the people, the DIY spirit. It has helped our fanzine hugely, and shown us more support than anyone. - Hollie Morris (The Low Road, Wakefield).
I think it's a brilliant festival and something that puts Wakefield on the map in terms of the arts and creativity. Without it the city would lose a lot of interest in the music scene and it's venues from places further affield. - Scott Lewis (Clue Records, Leeds).
I have the greatest respect for the incredible work that Long Division Festival have done to aid the regeneration of the city. This festival now attracts high profile, internationally renowned acts, something that I would never have dreamt happening during my years as a student, resident, musician and promoter in Wakefield. - James Mabbett (Napoleon IIIrd, Holmfirth).
Long Division is a cracking festival. Wakefield should be proud of itself! It's great to have a decent festival like this with quality bands playing based in a northern city. It is so important is it independent and flying the flag up here. - Holly Ross (The Lovely Eggs, Lancaster)
Long Division is so important! Not just to young musicians / bands from the city, but also beyond. It's a great platform for local artists, writers, promoters, fanzines etc to get involved and work together. Wakefield is a small city but it's bursting with talent and creativity. Having a festival like Long Division to support that and showcase it to a larger audience is always going to be important. - Antonia Lines (Jumbo Records, Leeds)
As an outsider, from my perspective Long Division is integral to Wakefield's identity. I commute from Keighley but I make the journey across because it's a great day out. Long Division is an assett to Wakefield, and without it I probably would not visit the city as often. - Melissa Watson (Crash Records, Leeds)
In addition to the prestige and financial gain, I would also argue that as a musician Long Division is a vital chance for the next generation of local artists. The effect of this is clearly not quantifiable, but the great esteem in which Long Division is held, not just by Wakefield artists but by bands across England, is testament to its influence in helping shape what is frequently nationally recognised (see recent Guardian and Vice articles) as one of, if not the most exciting music scenes in the UK. - Joe Angus (NARCS, Leeds)
Put simply, Long Division is the jewel in the crown of all music festivals in Wakefield. - Guy Thomas (Thomas Wilby Gang).
It feels pretty vital to Wakefield and it's music scene - people involved in the local community should be doing everything they can to get behind the event and support it in any way possible. - Sam Airey (Leeds / North Wales)
It does alot to put Wakefield on the map within the Indie music scene; it's not a place we'd ever thought about going or playing until we saw how vibrant it can be with Long Division. We've recommended it to many other Glasgow bands and I know that others have had a similarily positive experience. Losing this festival would be a real loss to culture in Wakefield and to the Indie scene in the UK more generally. - Susie Smillie (Olympic Swimmers, Glasgow).
Long Division is a crucial and vital part of Wakefield Arts. - Rob Slater (The Spills / Greenmount Studios).
In the same way The Hepworth and Yorkshire Sculpture Park have upweighted Wakefield's creative status in Art and Sculpture, Long Division has been able to do the same for music. In the same way The Hepworth's content is rooted in Wakefield, but not limited to it, Long Division also promotes local talent alongside nationally renowned artists, giving the local talent enpowerment and an experience in the music industry that they may not otherwise be able to achieve. - Dan Stringer (Piskie Sits / Disgusting Design).
This festival is important, not only for Wakefield, but for this country. It is a beacon of hope for music in such a bleak time. - Bobby Townson (Cactus Knife).
I have particularily appreciated the festival's efforts to encourage young people to discover new and local music by subsidising the admission price. I would be devastated if the festival did not continue into 2016 as the last 5 years have been such a big achievement for the promotion of arts in our city. - Joe Grayson (The Spills, Wakefield).
Long Division is the only cultural arts festival in the city that brings together so many local strands, i.e. music, art, theatre, local food and drink. It is a celebration of Wakefield whilst also showcasing national and international artists that grace all the major cities in the UK. - Paul Bateson (Taproom Theatre Company, Wakefield).
I know people who live in Leeds and other surrounding cities who have never had the reason to come to Wakefield before. Long Division gives them a reason and makes local people, musicians, artists and businesses proud to be from here. Without Long Division, Wakefield would further live up to its stigma of a town not worth visiting over Leeds. - Rob Burnell (The Ainsley Band, Wakefield).
Vital for the North of England. - Mark Wright (Maggie8)
Long Division is a perfect and sometimes rare example of how successful a DIY festival can be. It proves that when done right you can form a community atmosphere far greater than any corporate festivals can offer. - Ewan (Womps, Glasgow).
Like Bradford, Wakefield is often overlooked by artists and booking agents who favour Leeds, and Long Division is the best possible advert for showing musicians and gig-goers alike just what the city has to offer musically. - Kerry Ramsey (Big Love, Bradford)
My first impression of Wakefield was a really positive one; the people were very friendly and the crowd was very responsive to the show. As a result of Long Division I'm looking forward to coming back to watch more live music in the city and make a weekend of it. - Ryan Pilot (Fleckt Pets, Stockton).