The Y Not Festival has been awarded a £240,000 funding package as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the annual summer event bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
The music festival, which began life in a field in Ashbourne and has become an award-winning, nationally-recognised mainstay of the festival calendar, is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across to receive support from the grant.
The grants programme has this week released £257 million through Arts Council England as part of the first round of funding and Y Not’s support will secure its future for another year, should it not be able to go ahead.
The organisers, which bought the festival back into local hands recently, say the money will help them offer tickets for a 2021 festival which would be completely transferable to the following year or refundable if there were to be another cancellation.
Since it was taken over by the local owners that built it up originally, Y Not Festival has gone back to using local suppliers for more than 85% of its contracts.
The festival itself has a new, exclusively local trader’s area and the team is also rolling out a work experience initiative with Derbyshire schools.
The Pikehall-based event’s managing director Jason Oakley says the grant will help to diversify the business and put on smaller, longer lasting, more Covid-resilient events for the local audience.
He said: “The grant has come at a much needed time and offers us some security and a solid platform to finally be able to make some concrete decisions on.
“In a time where so many businesses are struggling to deal with an abundance of uncertainty about the future, we feel very grateful to have been lifted partially out of that and to have received this grant which will fund our operating costs and allow us to diversify into some exciting new areas to make sure that we can survive even if the event can not go ahead.
“We can now keep Y Not Festival ready to go and able to be launched at short notice as soon as the world is ready for large events again.
“Hopefully this gives our customers the confidence that their tickets are in safe hands and that they have nothing to lose by purchasing one.
“All tickets will either lead to our event in 2021, or an event when it can first safely go ahead, which promises to be the best event we have done or in the worst case scenario a complete refund.”
Other cultural treasures in the area receiving cash are Buxton Opera House, which will benefit from more than half a million pounds, Matlock Bath’s Grand Pavilion receiving £50,000 and Wirksworth Heritage Centre which will see help to the tune of £161,702.
Chairman of 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.”