Huge cash boost for North Yorkshire's biggest music festival as Government steps in to help the Arts

North Yorkshire's biggest family-run music festival has been revealed as one of the cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently-needed financial support from Arts Council England and the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 5:22 pm
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 5:47 pm
Cash support - The main stage at North Yorkshire's Deer Shed Festival pictured in 2017.

The £238,000 cash grant will be vital in helping cover losses incurred from Deer Shed Festival's unexpected fallow year – the first since it was launched in 2010 with a host of top indie music acts, comedy, talks and more – and to ensure a pandemic-proof event in 2021.

Deer Shed Festival had already displayed its ability to innovate in the face of restrictions, in being one of the few festival promoters in the UK to push on with a physical event back in July.

Deer Shed Base Camp was promoted as a “socially distanced camping weekend for families”, complete with a programme of live entertainment which closely adhered to government guidelines at the time.

The Base Camp site was still located in the festival’s usual home of Baldersby Park in Topcliffe, but comprised 320 15x15-metre camping pitches, each with its own portaloo and car parking space.

Attendance was also reduced to a small fraction of the usual festival audience of over 10,000 - all to ensure adherence to social distancing.

Deer Shed Festival director Oliver Jones said: “This year has seen creative industries face unprecedented challenges, so it is a huge relief to receive further support from Arts Council England and the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

“We’re grateful to be awarded this funding alongside many other fantastic arts organisations in the UK, and I’m thankful that our industry has been recognised for its vital contribution to the economy through the years.”

In total £257 million of investment was announced as part of the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England.

So far, 1,385 organisations have been given grants but further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages.

"This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences.

"Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

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