I am afraid that it comes as no surprise due to the current climate, But the organisers of Blackpools Rebellion Festival have cancelled the 2020 event.
Here is the Full Press Release.
“We have been monitoring the situation and looking at all options and whilst we were genuinely very optimistic 2 months ago and honestly thought that this would all be done and dusted half a year ahead, it’s clear that as each day passes things are taking a lot longer to go back to any sense of ‘normal’. All the indications are that mass indoor gatherings will not take place for some time to come. Obviously ticket sales have ground to a halt since the lockdown so the conclusion we’ve come to is that even if the Winter Gardens is allowed to open in August, we won’t be able to put on the same standard of festival that you’ve all come to know and love. We are already losing key bands and there would be people that had bought tickets that either can’t travel (if overseas travel is still banned) or choose not to travel and it’s unfair on them too. Further, we’ve listened to bands, fans and crew and the feedback has tended to move from an optimistic and positive response with people wanting it to happen to many of us now reluctantly accepting that it’s not the best thing to do for our communities health and well-being. So for those of you that wanted us to cancel, we feel we’ve done the right thing but for those of you that wanted us to carry on you can rest assured that we looked at every available option on how long we could keep going before we had to make an awkward decision. Putting on a festival of this size is a huge undertaking and our lives have been on hold with regards to pre-production and ticket sales so to be honest we’re running out of time now to make this happen anyway.
REBELLION 2021 is BOOKED!! – AUGUST 5th – 8th
Next year is our 25th Anniversary and we are planning an incredibly special event. We aim to come back bigger and better and put on the party that we are all going to be craving. It is not possible to have the same line up so we will be starting again for 2021. However we’re mindful that many people keeping their tickets bought them off the back of this year’s line up so we will do our best to re-book as many bands as we can subject to availability, budget and our plans for 2021.
PLEASE HELP SUPPORT YOUR FESTIVAL
Cancelling this year’s event is obviously very damaging. We do not have ‘backers’, we do not have ‘sponsorship’ – Rebellion is a truly independent festival. The venue is not ours. Our only income is from ticket sales and out of that we must cover all our expenses which as you can imagine are massive for a festival this size. We’ve had good years and we’ve had bad years, but we’ve always bounced back from the losses and if we break even then we’ve lived to see another year! But this is unprecedented – we’ve had all the expenses from August to May but if we have to refund everyone’s money it will frankly be devastating. There is a number of ways that YOU can help REBELLION
1) KEEP HOLD OF YOUR TICKET AND USE IT FOR 2021 – You will be getting in to next year at this years prices! You can save up to £45 (depending on when you bought your ticket) by using this year’s ticket to get you in to next year’s event. This will help minimise the amount of refunds we need to do. So no need to buy another ticket. Keep your weekend ticket safe for 2020 and turn up to wristband exchange next year and you’ll get in.
2) BUY A TICKET FOR 2021 NOW! – Tickets are ON SALE NOW for 2021, if you haven’t got a ticket for this year and weren’t coming, an early purchase of 2021 would really help. Our ‘EARLY BIRD’ prices last from TODAY until August 31st and we will be hitting our ‘mid price’ from Sept 1st onwards which is a lot earlier than usual. So now really is the best time to buy.
3) FREE ‘VIP’ PASSES – The first 300 tickets we sell for 2021 will go into a raffle and we will be drawing 50 winners that will receive a VIP PASS for 2021 which will get you all sorts of exclusive access and goodies.
We’ve already been overwhelmed by offers of support and generosity with suggestions to set up a funding page etc. We hope that things don’t get that bad. We are uncomfortable asking for anything as we know times are going to be hard for many. However, for those of you that are asking and are in a position to, you could DONATE YOUR 2020 WEEKEND TICKET. It would make a massive difference to the future of Rebellion and the type of festival and stages we can offer next year if you didn’t use your 2020 weekend ticket and just bought a new one. There will be a goodie bag to say THANKS for anyone that turns up to WRISTBAND EXCHANGE next year with BOTH weekend tickets showing that they had one they could have used but chose to donate that and support Rebellion by purchasing a new ticket. We certainly don’t expect this and know many can’t afford to but for the many people that have contacted offering ways to support, this is probably the easiest and fairest.
For those of you that neither want to come next year or are not in a position financially to support us then of course REFUNDS are available and the information regarding how that works can be found in detail on our WEBSITE – www.rebellionfestivals.com.
We know that many of you go to many different festivals and gigs. We don’t view any other event as a ‘rival’ event to us. We see all live events as one big family that feeds each other with our passion for music. We would urge any of you that also have tickets for other shows that are cancelled to try and avoid refunds if possible. This virus is going to have such a devastating impact on the economy and on businesses and individuals and one of the worse industries to be hit will be the entertainment industry and especially LIVE MUSIC. Many of us in this industry are getting NO SUPPORT from the government. There is no ‘grant’ if you don’t have rateable high street premises, there’s no furloughing if we’re not on PAYE and there’s no support for being ‘self-employed’ if you take money out of the business only when it’s in profit via dividends and there’s no insurance that is going to cover us for cancelling. REBELLION certainly isn’t covered by an insurance policy for this. We’re taking a hit. So many promoters, agents and bands will slip through the net regarding support. Unlike sports events which get huge revenues from TV sponsors, Live Music will be hit terribly. Our only ‘sponsors’ are the people that buy tickets and come to the gigs. Please support all our colleagues at other festivals and shows if you can by minimising REFUND REQUESTS and getting back out and buying tickets for future events as soon as we’re all allowed out again.
ONE LAST THING – Rebellion 2020 is cancelled. Tickets are valid for 2021. That will not change. But what IF the lockdown is lifted by August and many of you choose to come to Blackpool as your Hotels are booked? It would be crazy to not have some event on. Therefore, we’ve kept the dates saved with the Winter Gardens for the possibility of a scaled back event if there was any possible way we could pull this off. This might not be something we can make a decision on until much nearer the time and the type of event, the amount of days, stages and if some of it could be outdoor etc would all have to be decided and turned around quickly. If this were possible it would be a completely separate ticketed event and not be a REBELLION FESTIVAL but an alternative show within the parameters of what would be allowed to happen legally and safely. It’s a long shot and has no bearing on the decision to cancel this year which has been made.
This has been the hardest thing to ever write or publish. Both emotionally and also logistically. We’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes to work out all the procedures for a cancellation. It’s actually a lot harder to cancel a festival than it is to put one on! So, for everyone that has been moaning about us taking too long to cancel, it’s not as simple as you think! We have many ticket outlets, many price points for the tickets and so lots to get in place before we can just say ‘it’s off’. We also need to let the venue, 350 bands and agents know and all our staff, crew and suppliers as it’s not right that the first they hear about it is via Facebook. There’s also massive implications for doing this and despite what you all think we’re a small family team who’s experience is in putting punk gigs on. Therefore, making sure that everything is legal, compliant and transparent also takes time. So – we did listen to your views and that helped us make the decision to cancel. We’ve since been putting everything in place to make this a smooth process. If there’s anything you guys aren’t happy with or think we could / should have done better or differently then please go easy – we’re in unchartered territory and we’re doing the very best we can.
For now, all we ask is that you all remain safe and healthy and we hope to see as many of you as possible in 2021. Your support as ever is appreciated and never taken for granted. We love you.”
Team Rebellion xx