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Houghton Festival – one week left to save event after Arts Council snub

Craig Richards-curated festival launches rapid emergency fundraiser

Houghton Festival, the longstanding arts and music festival curated by Craig Richards, has launched a last ditch fundraising push after the Arts Council turned down its Cultural Recovery Fund request.

Richards himself has designed a range of t-shirts, mugs, prints and other accessories to raise cash to save the festival, which estimates it has only a few days left to rescue the event. In previous years Houghton has played host to Andrew Weatherall, The Orb’s Alex Paterson, Ricardo Villalobos, Mr Scruff and Floating Points among many others.

A statement from the festival said: “The Arts Council recently confirmed that we would not be eligible for any support from The Cultural Recovery Fund. 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 little doubt that festivals will be allowed to take place this year. There is still enormous controversy surrounding a Covid insurance policy and we wait in anticipation for further information regarding this. Meanwhile, 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.

“However, before there is any chance of this happening at Houghton we need to generate a considerable amount of money in a very short space of time. In order to do this we proudly present LET ME OUT LET ME IN. This represents a thoughtfully selected collection of charming products to wear, look at or use around the house, designed by our very own artist Craig Richards. All items are reasonably priced and beautifully manufactured. The imagery contained within the campaign represents the absolute end of the relentless catastrophe. A symbol of renewed optimism as we continue to move towards the dance floor.

We urge you to take this campaign seriously, without this we cannot continue into the next stage. We need to raise money quickly so there is a small window of opportunity. In order to achieve this we have a time scale of ONE WEEK.”

Visit the LET ME OUT LET ME IN shop here