How did you feel when you had to cancel the festival?
Context, see www.noisilyfestival.com. We’re trying to raise £150,000 to allow the event to survive, we’ve raised £75,000 in two weeks but still have a mountain to climb.
The decision and announcement to postpone the festival to 2020 was one born of weeks of emotional roller coaster. Noisily is a massive labour of love, the team put everything into making it the most magical place possible, and so we operate on tiny, often negative margins, which meant that, having already forked out a lot on preparation for 2020’s event, we had no financial cushion to fall back on.
This meant that wasn’t just 2020’s event on the line, but possibly the whole future of the festival. The £150,000 we had to raise seemed like an insurmountable figure to reach, and there were many times when we felt like we should just roll over and give up.
However, as we started to reach out to our core crew and explain the situation, we were reminded of the passion and love that our crew and community feel for Noisily, and feeling bolstered, committed to going for it and putting this to the greater Noisily community.
All of which is a long but necessary lead up to the to answer to your question, which is, Relief, I felt so relieved to share this burden with out amazing community. As we announced it, I broke down in tears, overwhelmed by the culmination of weeks of impossible decisions and discussions. And, lo and behold, I was blown away by support and good vibes which came out of our community, and was reminded, once again, that Noisily is a family, and families support each other when times get tough. So all in all, it’s been very up and down and I’m clearly gutted we can’t have a Noisily 2020, but in the end I feel incredibly lucky to have such amazing community around me / us.
What is the biggest cost to you, financial or emotional?
Both. The financial burden is a huge weight on us emotionally, but I think that the responsibility to keep the event moving forward for all of our crew and festival family is perhaps more weighty. Noisily brings people together each year in a way that isn’t often seen, and without it, I think that some of those close bonds may slowly dissolve over the years, and new ones wont form. This is both perhaps my biggest source of pride but also, the biggest responsibility I feel weighing down on me.
What are the biggest challenges you face right now?
Raising enough money to keep the event alive, and trying to work out what the hell the festival scene will look like in 2021, and rethink aspects of Noisily accordingly. while keeping the soul of the event.
Is it the case that ticket-holders can literally save festivals from collapsing if they agree to keeping their tickets?
100%, and in our case, we also need people to donate more.
What other roadblocks stand in your way as you plan to open again for the 2021 season?
The unknown, uncertainty of so many things.
How do you think the festival landscape will change by 2021? Will we see casualties? Will it become more competitive than ever?
I’m sure there will be some casualties, and I think that there will be a dichotomy of the effect on attendees, some will be ready to party like no other time after a year off, and some will be much more tentative. I’m worried about the effect on hugging and other acts of casual physical intimacy. I think they’re the cornerstone of events like Noisily and who knows how people will be effected by the change in attitudes around being physically close to people.
Will a certain type of festival or live event fare best or worst?
I’m not sure.
What is your prediction for the live events industry? When do you hope it will be able to start again?
I think that proper ticket sales are unlikely to recover until the beginning of next year.