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Gate to Southwell Festival Is Set to Bounce Back in 2021

22 December 20 words: LeftLion

Book it into yer calendars...

The long-awaited and hugely-anticipated 14th Gate To Southwell Festival is now set to take place in September 2021 at a proper nice new location in the nearby village of Kirklington. The first wave of acts has already been confirmed, including acclaimed ‘supergroup’ the Gigspanner Big Band (formed by Steeleye Span fiddler Peter Knight), the extraordinary Galician piper-led Anxo Lorenzo Band, award-winning folk duo The Breath (featuring the beautiful voice of BBC Folksinger of the Year Rioghnach Connolly), re-formed Bellowhead masterminds Spiers & Boden, “Renaissance Man of English folk” Chris Wood, plus loads more, as well as even more to be announced.

“We know it’s been a tough year for everyone and we’ve all missed families and friends and getting together to enjoy live music,” said Festival Director Mike Kirrage. “We just hope this exciting news about our festival in September 2021, at a beautiful rural location, will really lift everyone’s spirits. We’ve already booked some excellent acts and now we’re really looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces who help out, perform or attend each year. So keep well and here’s to a bright, healthy and musical 2021.”   

After five years at Southwell Racecourse, the Kirklington festival site will be on farmland to the North West of Southwell with lakes, trees and plenty of green spaces. There’ll be a lot more room for camping and, for the first time, well-behaved dogs will be welcome (at no extra cost) in the main arena as well as on the campsite. A bus service will also connect Southwell with the new site. 

The organisers already acknowledge that they’ll have to adapt to the changing situation in 2021 and will be prepared for any COVID restrictions and regulations that remain in place next September. But they’re confident that many key elements of a “normal” outdoor festival will be able to go ahead, including multiple music stages, dancing, food and drink stalls, children’s entertainment and workshops. 

Gate To Southwell Festival’s ability to bounce back from a very tough 2020 has been helped by grants from the Arts Council and Newark & Sherwood District Council. Thankfully the organisers cancelled early and were able to refund all ticket buyers and traders.   

“Rather than risk further problems in early June, we’ve decided next September would be a much safer date to stage the festival,” said Mike Kirrage. “We're already re-thinking the stages and layout, and we accept we may all still need to socially distance to some extent.  But the fun and the music will go on!  We are a member of the Association of Festival Organisers who are providing resources and advice on all of this, so you can be assured we'll have everything covered.”

Tickets are on sale via the Gate To Southwell 2021 website

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