Rothbury Music Festival ‘frontload’ artists’ payments

Like so many events, the Rothbury Traditional Music Festival, which was due to take place in July with performances from the likes of Martin Carthy, Cathal Hayden, Northern Company, 422 and the Newcastle Kingsmen, has been cancelled. However, unlike a lot of other events, the acts and artists who were booked to play will all be offered their fee, paid in advance of the rescheduled festival, which will take place in July 2021.

Musical director of the festival, Ian Stephenson, said: “As soon as stuff started getting cancelled when the lockdown restrictions came into force, my social media was flooded with musicians saying they’d lost all the work they had booked in for the coming months and they were obviously worried about money.” It was at that point Ian had the idea to frontload payments for the people who would have been taking to the stage this year.

He said: “We’ve got enough money in the festival account to subsidise a really bad year. So we thought that if these acts were happy to come back and play in a year’s time, then all we’re really doing is giving them a cash injection at the point at which they need it, rather than the money just sitting in our bank account. We thought that might be a helpful thing to do.” Ian says all the musicians have welcomed the gesture, with some taking him up on his offer. “Some of the musicians have said ‘thanks but we’re ok at the moment’, others have said ‘yes please and thanks very much!’”