Sold-out Norfolk festival needs to 'raise money quickly' to go ahead

One of Houghton Festival 's larger stages last year PICTURE: Jake Davis

Houghton Festival has launched an urgent fundraising campaign so the 2021 event can go ahead. - Credit: © Photography by Jake Davis for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

The organisers of Houghton Festival have launched an urgent fundraising campaign to make sure the 2021 event can go ahead.

The electronic dance music festival is set to take place in the grounds of Houghton Hall, near Fakenham, from Thursday, August 12 until Sunday, August 15 and it is sold out. 

The event was launched in 2017 by DJ Craig Richards and this year's line-up is yet to be announced. 

DJ Ricardo Villalobos playing a set at Houghton Festival in 2018 Photo: Jake Davis

DJ Ricardo Villalobos playing a set at Houghton Festival in 2018 Photo: Jake Davis - Credit: Jake Davis

Houghton Festival has now launched a week-long fundraising campaign called Let Me Out Let Me In, after it found out it would not receive money from the Culture Recovery Fund. 

To raise cash, there is specially-designed merchandise available to buy, including t-shirts, mugs and prints. 

The government's £1.57 billion fund was created to support the nation's cultural organisations and heritage sites through the pandemic, with money distributed through organisations including the Arts Council. 

Houghton Hall, between Fakenham and King's Lynn, is set to reopen to the public following the corona

Houghton Festival takes place in the grounds of Houghton Hall. - Credit: IAN BURT

A statement on the Houghton Festival website said: "The Arts Council recently confirmed that we would not be eligible for any support from the Culture Recovery Fund.

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"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."

A spokesman for the Arts Council, said: "Although we can’t comment on individual applications, there are a number of reasons why an organisation may have been unsuccessful – for example they may have not supplied sufficient financial information, been able to clearly demonstrate need for support in this period or how they would use their grant to transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model during April-June 2021.”

Houghton Festival is back for 2020 PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

Houghton Festival last took place in 2018 after being cancelled due to bad weather in 2019 and coronavirus in 2020. - Credit: Archant

Speaking about Let Me Out Let Me In, the Houghton statement said: "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." 

The 2021 event is set to be the third year of the festival as it was cancelled due to bad weather in 2019 and because of coronavirus in 2020. 

You can read the full statement and buy merchandise at houghtonfestival.co.uk

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