Crowdfunder launched as Sea Change Festival cancelled for 2021

Rupert Morrison runs the Sea Change festival. Credit: ITV News

The organisers of a music festival in Totnes which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic are looking to the future with a crowdfunding campaign.

The fifth edition of the Sea Change festival, which would have taken place in May, was postponed until next year. But the founders decided the uncertainty - and lack of Arts Council funding - meant the 2021 event would have to be put on hold too.

An online campaign has so far raised more than £20,000, with a target of £25,000 to clear the debts.

The Sea Change festival was cancelled this year. Credit: ITV News

Founder Rupert Morrison, who runs Drift record shop in Totnes, said: "We tried to keep every option open, we tried to readjust everything, but we realised as soon as we went into lockdown that it would not be viable and we wouldn't be able to run the event the way we wanted to. We initially moved to postpone the event and look at next year, but in this climate we're no closer to knowing where we're at with live events in 2021."

The festival applied to the Arts Council for emergency funding, but was turned down.

"We understood why we didn't receive the funding, but we were really disappointed," Rupert added.

"The bit that hurt for us was that a lot of people did receive funding and you could argue that the cultural value of what they were doing perhaps doesn't match the cultural value of what we've done.

"The money we raised for the local economy was so clear and so tangible that I think we've illustrated that we are an important event."

The festival's organisers say they are determined to come back stronger once they are able to do so.

Phil Gibby, South West director for Arts Council England, said: "If organisations have missed out on funding this time around, it's really important to say that the Arts Council's door is still open to them. We run other funding programmes and we would be really happy to speak to unsuccessful applicants to the cultural recovery fund about how we might be able to support them through other routes."