Organisers of London’s VAULT Festival, which was due to return this month bigger and better than ever, today announced that the entire 2022 programme has been canceled in the face of continuing uncertainty with the Omicron variant.
The 2022 festival, scheduled to run from 25 January to 20 March, unveiled a tenth-anniversary line-up of more than 600 productions in November. This is the third year running that the festival has been disrupted. It came to an abrupt halt when theatres first locked down in March 2020 and was canceled in full in 2021.
Full statement from VAULT Festival
VAULT Creative Arts have made the gut-wrenching decision to cancel the 2022 VAULT Festival. Since the emergence of the Omicron variant, the team have been exploring options to allow them to deliver the tenth-anniversary Festival safely and successfully, but all of these were found to put staff and artists at risk.
This proactive decision has been made in order to prioritise and protect the safety, wellbeing and mental health of the festival’s staff, artists and audiences. This festival would have featured 100s of shows from the UK’s brightest and boldest independent artists and the team’s utmost concern is for those they work with, minimising stress, uncertainty and financial vulnerability.
With the majority of shows running for one week or less, the implications of isolation for those performers who contract Covid-19 would mean the runs become instantly untenable. VAULT Creative Arts are in touch with all staff, artists and collaborators and are working hard to provide continued support.
Andy George and Adam Gray comment:
“We have worked non-stop over the past 21 months to recover from the devastation caused by the lost week of 2020’s Festival and the full postponement of 2021. VAULT Festival 2022 was set to be our most exciting Festival to date, marking our tenth anniversary year. The challenges posed by Covid-19 have always been at the forefront of our preparations, and we’ve undertaken extensive scenario planning in order to be able to deliver a safe, welcoming, and celebratory event that could overcome them. It is therefore with broken hearts that we make this statement.”
VAULT Creative Arts is aware of the blow this decision has on the artists involved and are working to minimise the impact however they can, to try to limit the financial burden on artists.
VAULT Creative Arts will waive and swallow all venue-related costs. Any Artist deposits already paid will be returned in full. Any artists or productions that have already cancelled their runs will have their cancellation fee waived entirely. VAULT Creative Arts will cover the cost of any Artist Optional Services including brochure advertisements, flyer deals, optional tech services and hires that artists have signed up to. VAULT Creative Arts is also aware of the blow this decision has for the freelancers that work to deliver the festival, and are working to provide practical, emotional, and financial support to them.
Audiences are being contacted and are being offered the option to donate the value of their ticket or receive a refund. Any donated tickets will be split with the artist of that show as per the ticket split in their agreements.
VAULT Creative Arts will soon be announcing alternative plans to ensure they can provide ongoing support for all festival staff, artists, and participants. VAULT Creative Arts are also closely monitoring the situation around Covid-19 and are working to bring live performance in some form to its audiences as soon as it’s possible and safe to do so.
VAULT Festival will be back, ensuring the leading independent artists in live performance are given the platform and voice they deserve.