News Theatre

Almost £2,000 raised for VAULT Festival in a day as iconic Waterloo event to lose namesake venue

London’s beloved VAULT Festival has received close to £2,000 in donations in a single day, after it revealed it would lose its current home in Waterloo’s Vaults – near Leake Street – from next year.

The decision from the landlords was announced during VAULT’s first festival back after COVID, with organisers VAULT Creative Arts confirming this year’s event will continue running until mid-March as planned.

The non-profit charity has since launched a crowdfunding campaign to “save VAULT”, with the aim of securing £150,000 in donations by the end of this year’s festival on 19 March.

As of 9pm on Wednesday, VAULT has received £1,937 in donations from 65 donors since the campaign was launched in the morning.

The organisation says funds will support its survival during a “period of significant transition”, help with securing a new home for the festival, and ensure such a space is “accessible to all”.

VAULT Creative Arts is now calling on multi-space venues or sites with more than 20,000 sq ft of space to come forward.

The news is the latest blow to VAULT Festival, after the final weeks of its 2020 event were cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus, with its return postponed in both 2021 and 2022.

Andy George, VAULT Festival’s director and co-founder, described the response to its 2023 comeback as “incredible”.

“Over the past three years, as we’ve battled to survive through cancellations, postponements and a pandemic, it’s become extremely clear that the creative industry needs VAULT Festival to thrive and the artists we champion need VAULT Festival to springboard their careers.

“This devastating blow comes after three of the harshest and hardest years of the festival’s life; but we’re determined to make sure this isn’t the end.

“We can only survive if we receive support, and I’m asking for your help. Help us make this the end of a chapter, not the end of VAULT Festival,” he said.

The organisation is also calling upon audiences to enjoy this year’s festival “whilst they can”.

Venue-landlords The Vaults were approached for a comment, but did not respond to this website’s request.

Update – 16/02/23: In a statement issued to Liam O’Dell, The Vaults said: “Before the pandemic we were able to support and subsidise VAULT Festival, relying on large corporate bookings to see us through the year. But the world has changed, and those bookings are no longer able to be relied upon.

“The festivals’ insistence on booking in future festivals in advance is a larger commitment than we’re able to give them in the current economic climate.

“We celebrate the amazing work VAULT Festival and The Vaults have achieved together. We’ve turned these derelict tunnels into an award winning theatre space. The Vaults will continue to support the festival in anyway we can, with the option to host it again in the future.

“In the meantime we are working hard to create a sustainable, inclusive, welcoming space that supports staff in the creative arts year round, and provides audiences with amazing experiences.”

Photos: VAULT Festival.

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