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Houghton Festival Launches Fundraising Campaign
Christian Eede , July 2nd, 2021 15:55

With the festival ineligible for Arts Council funding, organisers need help to ensure this year's edition can go ahead as planned

Houghton festival has set up a week-long fundraising campaign to help make its 2021 edition happen as planned next month.

The LET ME OUT LET ME IN campaign gives festival attendees the chance to own various merchandise items designed by festival co-founder and resident DJ Craig Richards. It's been set up after organisers recently had it confirmed to them that they were ineligible to receive funding from Arts Council England and the UK government's Culture Recovery Fund.

A statement shared by the festival reads: "Over the last year we have submitted two applications, an appeal and a complaint. We passionately campaigned for the cultural recognition of our festival but The Arts Council on behalf of the government has deemed us unworthy of financial support.

"Houghton has already made a significant contribution to British culture and will continue to do so in the coming years. We are incredibly committed to the festival and have enormous belief in its potential. Ultimately this rejection has only increased our determination to make Houghton happen.

"The mist of confusion and uncertainty appears to be lifting leaving almost no doubt that festivals will be allowed to take place this year. Slowly we creep towards a place of happiness and dance. Music is a good which travels lightly and for all of us whose lives revolve around it this has been a time of emptiness. The absence of loud music, strangers on dance floors, flashing lights and communal transcendent experience has given us all a greater appreciation of how important these experiences are to our lives."

Houghton is currently scheduled to take place from August 12 to 15, 2021, which will mark its return for the first time since 2018. (The festival was forced to cancel last-minute in 2019 for weather-related reasons and was unable to take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) No lineup has been confirmed as yet due to continued uncertainty as the UK heads towards its rescheduled so-called 'Freedom Day' of July 19 when all social distancing measures will be relaxed.

Items for sale as part of the LET ME OUT LET ME IN campaign include mugs, sweaters, prints, T-shirts, slipmats, fridge magnets and tote bags. Browse the festival's store place the text you want as hyperlink here, and read the full social media post about the campaign here.