Rebellion Festival Statement
REBELLION 2021 – POSTPONED
This time last year we were forced to make the heart-breaking decision to cancel Rebellion. A year on and we are absolutely devastated to confirm that yet again we are not able to go ahead on our advertised dates. Despite the intention, desire and willingness of ourselves, the venue, the bands and the local businesses for this year to go ahead, it has become increasingly clear that due to circumstances beyond our control, we can’t.
We’ve been open and transparent with you throughout this pandemic and have been humbled by the responses to our posts. We were hopeful (but cautious) about this year but require a few essential things to be confirmed for us to start putting the event on, and in all honesty, we’re just not getting the information that we need to proceed. The feeling is that music festivals are being ‘timed out’. No one is saying we CAN’T go ahead, but nothing is in place yet than means we CAN either. That is why the last few weeks have seen many many independent festivals take the tough decision to cancel and we know there are many more that will soon be making their announcements too.
This is a long post as we always want to communicate as much detail to our Rebellion family as possible. But if you want the punchline, Rebellion 2021 has been moved to 2022. Keep hold of your tickets. Both 2020 and 2021 tickets will roll over to 2022. You do not have to do anything. Just turn up next year with a valid ticket from 2020 / 2021 or 2022. For those of you wanting a refund, visit our website where full details are published. All day tickets will be refunded automatically.
REBELLION 2022 is 4th – 7th August.
So put that in your diary! We’ve already confirmed some surprise headliners plus reconfirmed a bunch that were due to play this year and we also have some exciting news about a new outdoor area. Keep reading for more info!
Don’t get rid of your hotel or B&B bookings for this year just yet as we are hoping that we can stage some kind of scaled back event this year.
Despite continuous calls from our industry over the past six months, the Government have refused to provide us with protection via a Government-backed insurance scheme. They clearly do not believe in their own roadmap, or certainly not where live music is concerned. After much publicity surrounding the UK Governments announcement that (subject to criteria being met), life would return to normal after June 21st with no restrictions, we were all led to believe that a summer of events would be possible. If this is true, then such a scheme would cost the Government next to nothing as no-one would be making a claim! The fact that they have yet to offer such a scheme indicates that there is still uncertainty regarding festivals being able to proceed.
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is certain, and things can change at the 11th hour. The roadmap could change, additional restrictions could be introduced at any time or there could be local lockdowns. We accept this. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. However, without COVID cancellation insurance in place it’s simply too much of a risk and could spell the end of Rebellion forever if we were on site, building stages and then told we couldn’t go ahead.
Not having insurance is too much of a gamble. We might as well flip a coin and we are not prepared to do that to ourselves or our community.
NO GUIDELINES ON ENTRY
Insurance aside, there are several other issues. As of today, we still don’t know what we have to do in order to legally operate an event of this size. There are rumours of getting covid tests on site, having them in advance, vaccine passports, reduced attendances, social distancing etc etc. But equally there could be no restrictions. But that’s too vague this late in the day for us to start planning things operationally. There are currently test events and pilot schemes running. The outcome of those will determine what we must put in place. All these schemes have some form of Lateral Flow Testing in place before entrance is allowed. So, it’s fair to assume that will form part of the criteria for entering events.
The problem for REBELLION is that unlike a festival in a field where you pitch up and stay for 4 days, we are based in a highly populated town centre and our event allows re-entry. As much as we love the Winter Gardens, we can’t keep everyone on site for 14 hours a day with no re-entry! Therefore a negative test is pointless if everyone is then in / out and mixing with non-festival attendees in bars / restaurants etc.
So on balance, we are not going to be able to return to a full capacity, non restricted, re-entry event this year. We are still planning our event but ensuring the date is moved accordingly so that it will finally be business as usual.
NO FREEDOM OF TRAVEL
Further, the Rebellion family is GLOBAL. Around a third of people that attend are from overseas. With travel restrictions still an issue, we are aware that many people will not be able to attend and therefore refunding a third of all tickets would put us in an extremely difficult position if we then had the same costs in staging the event. We think it’s best to stage a full scale Rebellion at a time where we can host ALL our ticket holders.
NO TOURING BANDS
Finally, the last week has seen many agents and bands from overseas pull their European tours and reschedule them for 2022. So it wouldn’t be the festival we wanted to stage anyway.
Whilst we were desperate for Rebellion to take place this year, we are also mindful that we bring thousands of people to a residential area and until the data on mass gatherings is complete, we have a social responsibility to Blackpool, the town and its residents to ensure that our event is not a cause for any increase in the disease. We were hopeful that with the vaccine programme and the test events there would be clarification that an indoor event such as ours would be safe. But we will not get that report until the middle of June by which time it will be too late to put on a festival of this size anyway.
We’re now coming off the back of 2 years of cancellations and 2 years of operational costs. Last time over 95% of you rolled your tickets over and that is why we’re still here. We were humbled and incredibly grateful. We love our Rebellion family and we know you love Rebellion too. There’s been some tough times for many of us and we understand that not everyone will be in a position to roll over again. However, if you can and if we can minimise refunds then you are making a massive difference to YOUR event.
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 for both 2020 and 2021 ticket holders, and the information regarding how that works can be found in detail on our WEBSITE – www.rebellionfestivals.com.
YOUR ROLLED OVER TICKETS ARE SAFE
The good news is that despite the Treasury blocking the insurance scheme, the Department of Culture, Media & Sport have been doing their bit to support the arts and recently allocated grants and loans and our bid was successful. Therefore, whilst we’re hanging on by the skin of our teeth having cancelled 2 years running, we are SAFE for the time being and can guarantee a return to Blackpool in 2022. That funding is paying our deposits so we’re ready to go when we can truly open up again. With no other sponsorship or backers, the only other funding that enables us to put on the festival is ticket sales. Your support is essential.
Tickets for 2022 will go on sale on Monday August 9th.
We’ve already booked a couple of exciting NEW headliners for 2022 and are in the process of re-booking many of the bands from this and last years event. Please be patient. It’s a long process and we’ll announce the first batch in the coming weeks.
The RETURN OF REBELLION 2022 is going to be massive! The exciting news is the council have agreed for us to have the area of the promenade right in front of Blackpool Tower (Tower Headland, on the ‘comedy carpet’). This is an amazing space for an outdoor stage. A straight walk down from the Winter Gardens. We can double our capacity with this area and have some fantastic plans to make both sites amazing. Of course, you’re also getting in at 2020 and 2021 prices if you keep your tickets!
WE’RE TRULY SORRY
We know that this news will disappoint so many of you and trust us, we’re as gutted as you are. We don’t do anything else. This is our life. We’re also gutted for all our crew, the hoteliers and B&B owners, the bands, the Winter Gardens and everyone that benefits from Rebellion each year.
We also know that many of you will have seen this as inevitable. There’s always so much opinion on the internet but we’re blessed with a supportive crowd who generally ‘get it’ and understand that all we want to do is put on a punk show and give everyone a good time. So whilst we’re sure there’s going to be a deluge of comments, please go easy on us. We’ve got the task of managing this postponement now and it’s a going to be draining, so please forgive us if we’re not responding to individual comments.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you’ve got a 2020 or 2021 ticket, KEEP IT SAFE. That will get you in to 2022. It’s going to be the BEST. YEAR. EVER!
If you’ve got a 2020 or 2021 ticket and don’t want to come / can’t come to 2022 then you can apply for a refund from your point of purchase. Full details are on our website under the news item REFUND POLICY.
A BIT OF HOPE…..We’re sure they’ll be a summer of sporting events, some larger events and smaller gigs with reduced capacity but sadly for the independent festival circuit there’s too many barriers for us to go ahead and stage the festival as normal. Time is also against us.
However, many of us will be in Blackpool regardless as hotels etc are booked. So depending on the guidelines, it may be possible to stage something last minute. We are awaiting confirmation on how entry would have to work and any restrictions we’d have to adhere to. This would be a completely separate ticketed event, just putting on something for those that coming regardless. We will of course let you know in due course if this happens.
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 2022. Your support as ever is appreciated and never taken for granted. We love you.
Team Rebellion xx