News: Wakefield festival Long Division announces return, new format and first acts

British music legend Billy Bragg will headline the festival at the stunning Wakefield Cathedral, which returns with a mix of free and paid arts, culture and music events for 2018

Wakefield’s Long Division Festival has announced its return after a fallow year in 2017. After taking a year off to take stock and better understand what he wanted the festival to be, festival founder and director Dean Freeman and the newly expanded Long Division team are bringing it back bigger than ever with an expanded line-up and broader programme with a host of free entry and paid events taking place in venues all across the city and regions thriving art and creative community.

Leading the announcement is folk and roots icon Billy Bragg who will be headlining the festival hot on the heels of his acclaimed mini-album ‘Build Bridges Not Walls’ which was released at the end of 2017. Joining the ‘Bard of Barking’ at Long Division will be Scottish troubadour King Creosote who will be making his return to Wakefield after three years, ex-Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherly and Helen Marnie of lauded electronic outfit Ladytron.

Also on the bill are Leeds indie-legends Cud, Long Division favourites and psych-punk duo The Lovely Eggs and avant- jazzers Shatners Bassoon. As ever, new music and making the arts accessible to all is at the heart of what Long Division is about and as such they have booked some of the most exciting new bands to come from the West Yorkshire region including post-punk three piece Drahla who have had support from Loud & Quiet, DIY, BBC 6 Music and Dork among many others, pillars of Leeds’ thriving DIY scene Galaxians and 6 piece fuzzy-lo-fi soon to be heavy hitters Team Picture.

When asked about reviving the festival and booking for the festival again, founder Dean Freeman said: “It’s wonderful to be back in the game of announcing artists and projects again. Taking a year out in 2017 was tough because we were just bystanders, whilst the world turned on without us. I don’t think it’s often a festival like us has that luxury, to step off the treadmill and really think about what it wants to be. We learnt our passion isn’t for people up on a stage playing guitars; it is for culture and how it brings people together. It’s also a passion for our city and for creating opportunities for artists and performers where there can often be too few”

Alongside the music, Long Division will be hosting an exciting number of arts and cultural installations and events which will be unveiled over the course of the next few months that will include a collaboration with Wakefield Artwalk, as part of their 10th anniversary celebration and the Arts Council England supported “A Manifesto For A New Wakefield” Which will include brand new Commissions, the first of which is from Jamie Lockhart of Wakefield’s Mi Mye. Taking inspiration from a songbook from 1851 owned by his Great Great Great Grandfather, who was a Piper for Queen Victoria, Jamie will create a new piece of work exploring his and his Grandfather’s journeys from their homes on the far North Coast of Scotland to London and Wakefield.

Long Division 2018 will take place in a host of venues across the city including: Wakefield Cathedral, Warehouse 23, Wakefield Town Hall, Elizabethan Gallery, The Red Shed, Wakefield Beer Exchange, Jolly Boys’ Tap, Neon Workshops, Wakefield Precinct and many more TBA.

Long Division was founded in 2011 and is dedicated to promoting independent, creative and forward-thinking artists and creating engaging and unique new work. It is Wakefield’s largest festival of Music & Culture and has hosted artists including British Sea Power, The Cribs, The Fall, Ghostpoet, Ash, Pulled Apart By Horses, The Wedding Present, Robin Ince, Josie Long and Simon Armitage.

This year Long Division is presented and supported by Wakefield Business Improvement District and Arts Council England. Manager of Wakefield Bid, Elizabeth Murphy said about the festivals return: “Long Division is a unique event in the summer, which attracts visitors from far and wide. As a Business Improvement District we want to make Wakefield more welcoming, more attractive and a better place to do business and Long Division helps us achieve that by attracting a diverse audience for its eclectic music offer. Wakefield Bid looks forward to welcoming musicians and music fans from around the UK to enjoy the music and the rich cultural offer that the city has for everyone.” / /

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