Long Division: Banging the Drum for Wakefield’s Economy

Responsible for bringing some of the biggest names in music to Wakefield, Long Division, the city’s largest music and culture festival, is coming back for its seventh year with a bang.

Hosting a 5-day celebration from 30th May – 3rd June, the festival will once again give people yet another great reason to visit the district.

Following a brief hiatus, which saw local lad Dean Freeman, Director of the festival, take the time to step back and make preparations for a larger and more diverse offering than ever before, this year’s event has undergone a new and exciting refresh – and we couldn’t wait to hear all about it!

A Whole Lotta History

As a local lad who grew up in Lofthouse and attended Outwood Grange School, it’s clear that Dean has a great deal of time for the Wakefield District and, it goes without saying, as a fellow advocate for our city we Bondholders have a great deal of time for him too!

Having established an interest in Wakefield’s music scene whilst working for Fanzine, Rhubarb Bomb, Dean was intrigued by the hotbed of talent which gathered around local music venues such as The Hop and Escobar. With the city clearly welcoming a new generation of musical talent, Dean decided that Wakefield would benefit from its own platform to showcase local talent as well as attracting performers from further afield.

Photo Credit: John Jowett

What’s New Pussycat…

Having become a formal company just last year, the Long Division team has undergone an exciting expansion with the addition of a board of 8 directors made up of representatives from a number of disciplines. Purposely selecting those from backgrounds other than music, Dean intended to create a team of advisors who could each bring something different, building upon the artistic and cultural aspects of the event.

As a result, continuing to support local musicians by providing a platform for their work to be showcased, as well as attracting creative talents from throughout the country, this year’s festival will retain its strong focus on music but will also extend its offering to encompass the wider arts and cultural scene for which Wakefield is well known.That was Then and This is Now

From its humble beginnings in 2011 when the festival spread across a total of 6 venues, this year’s event will require no less than thirty venues across the city, including larger capacity venues such as Wakefield Cathedral, Warehouse 23 and St Austins Theatre.

With the number of venues steadily growing year on year, so have visitor numbers which have risen from approximately 1,000 in the first year to over 3,000 expected attendees in 2018. Not only does this mean that visitors to the city have increased but spend at local venues and businesses is expected to follow suit contributing an estimated £100,000 to the local economy.

What’s more, with plans to re-invest any profits to support projects within the local area, it’s a double thumbs-up from us!

To find out more about Long Division, visit the website: http://longdivisionfestival.co.uk/

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