Long Division Festival was created ten years ago and is an annual city centre festival taking place in Wakefield. It is run by the not-for-profit organisation Long Division CIC, formed in 2017.
Long Division Festival is an award winning event that has hosted near to a thousand performers, generated approx £1milllion for the local economy, attracted 20,000 people to the city and proudly celebrated grassroots music and independent culture. It has achieved this despite being almost entirely run by volunteers and driven by goodwill. We love celebrating our city of Wakefield and all the great things that happen here.
2020 was set to be a great year. In January we finalised a massively ambitious funding and sponsorship package that meant we were secure for two full years. We'd never been in this position before. We could employ our director for 3 days a week at a fair wage and massively expand our community focused work.
We were so excited. And then Covid-19 happened.
Clearly the impact on all our lives has been huge. At first we rescheduled the event from June to November. Back in March that seemed perfectly sensible. But now, although some aspects of life are returning to normal, it would be unsafe for us to run the event in 2020. This leaves us with no source of income for 2020, and as an organisation we fall through a lot of the cracks for government support.
We've worked hard to reschedule that huge two year project. Thanks to our amazing funders and sponsors, we can effectively start over in January 2021. But it means for the entirety of 2020 we will not be generating any income. This leaves us in a position where the grand plans we've carefully put together - and that felt like the culmination of ten years of work - lie agonisingly out of reach. This is where you come in.
£6000 is the bare minimum we need to overcome this short term issue. Success then opens the door to that initial grand vision:
- The classic Long Division Festivals in June 2021 & June 2022.
- The opportunity to educate 60 young people, earning them Arts Award qualifications.
- Mentor schemes for ten emergent promoters
- Eight freelance job roles & six direct artist commissions
- A programme of year round live events based in the Working Men's Clubs of Wakefield District, developing them as spaces for music and cultural activity.
- All in, that's a full budget of close to £250,000 of which approx 90% will be returned to artists, creatives, freelancers, local businesses outside of Long Division.
And that is just the beginning. Over the two years we'll be looking to continue and expand our ambitious programme of work.
We're not asking for support and offering nothing in return. We see this as a really great opportunity to offer you some exciting and unique opportunities to get involved in our work - and get hold of some really cool merch!
Every pledge at any level will be entered into a prize draw with three prizes;
1) A golden lanyard offering lifetime entry to every Long Division Festival and affiliated event for you and one guest.
2) £70 of vouchers from Wah Wah Records.
3) £30 of vouchers from Wah Wah Records.
You'll be entered into the draw for every pledge you make (get three rewards, your name will be entered three times).
If the Crowdfunder is unsuccessful, we'll be in a position where we can't pay our Director or other staff we're trying to support through Covid-19, or account for the other sunk costs from Jan - March 2020. We'll essentially cease to exist as an operating organisation.
Any continuation would have to explore clawing back 2020s sunk costs from future festivals. Compared to many other organisations, £6000 is a very small amount. By way of a comparison, most businesses with premises were at least entitled to a £10,000 grant from the government. But for us, it will give us the lifeline we need to get to 2021.
That will be amazing! We will then look to stretch our target to £10,000 to help us really invest in the future of the organisation but most importantly we'll set up a fund designed to support grassroots promoters and ensure they return to providing our city with live events. These funds may help with marketing, tech costs, artist costs - whatever they need to ensure live music returns with a bang!
... for giving your time to reading this far. We hope you can support us, and in turn live music and events, artists and everyone that makes a difference.
Dean & Team Long Division