East Sussex’s long-running Brainchild Festival has announced its cancellation this year due to a number of post-pandemic factors threatening the event’s 2022 edition.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we must tell you we’ve made the devastating decision to cancel Brainchild Festival 2022,” the festival announced on Instagram over the weekend.
“This is a major shock to the system for us all, we’ve weathered many a storm in our 10 years running this, but this year we’ve been met with completely different curveballs that are quietly putting many events & festival organisers through very challenging times behind the scenes.”
Brainchild listed numerous reasons for this year’s cancellation, with the event due to go ahead from July 8 - 10, including inflation, supply chain issues, and slower ticket sales, calling it the “perfect, ‘post-pandemic’ storm”.
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“Far slower/more last-minute ticket-sales than we’ve ever experienced before (which is sadly the case for many festivals right now), despite years of early sell-outs & increasing demand,” was also listed as a factor for its cancellation.
This year, Brainchild was set to include acts from the likes of Ahadadream, Vels Trio, Ifeoluwa, Léa Sen, as well as takeovers from Touching Bass and Local Action. The event also includes theatre, cabaret, poetry, comedy, films, and workshops.
“We’ve reached the point where the financial risks from here are too much for us to bear,” Brainchild explained. “We cannot in good conscience go into a festival where we may not be able to pay everybody afterwards.”
The festival added that while bigger companies may be able to take those financial risks, smaller grassroots and independent festivals like themselves have struggled in the face of the pandemic.
“We are so full of love for every one of you who booked and comes to Brainchild. We are absolutely heartbroken, and having given our lives to building this for a decade, we hope you trust that we’ve left no stone unturned in trying to bring you the festival this year,” they said.
Despite Brainchild’s cancellation this year, its offshoot event DIGS is still set to take place in London’s Lewisham on May 14at Fox & Firkin. Find tickets here.
“We need to do some healing, processing and re-imagining, and although we don’t know when we’ll next be in the field together, this isn’t the end of Brainchild.”
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter