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This Is Tomorrow festival cancels 2022 edition citing “an oversaturated market” and “rising costs”

By | Published on Monday 11 April 2022

Organisers of the Newcastle-based music festival This Is Tomorrow have cancelled this year’s edition, stating that an oversaturated marketplace and rising costs have motivated that decision.

The event – due to take place from 3-5 Jun – had been facing some new licensing restrictions after complaints last year from residents living near Exhibition Park, where the annual festival is staged.

In response to those complaints, the local council recently put a limit on the number of events that can take place in the park each year, as well as announcing restrictions on noise levels. A spokesperson for This Is Tomorrow subsequently admitted that those new restrictions were “challenging”, but insisted they were “not the reason we are choosing to have a year off”.

They added that the timing of the 2021 edition of the event – pushed into September because of COVID – had had an impact on the festival’s logistical set up, which contributed to the issues raised by local residents.

With plans to run over the spring bank holiday weekend at the end of May in 2023 – plus with some “noise modelling” that is underway to “minimise any disturbance for residents” – the spokesperson said they were confident they could deliver a successful event in line with the new restrictions.

However, “with an oversaturated market, the ongoing economic crisis and rising costs, 2022 is the wrong year for the festival to expand further following a successful sell-out year in 2021”.

The Association Of Independent Festivals has previously warned that festival promoters could face a perfect storm this year, with the operational and infrastructure costs of staging festivals set to increase as much as 30%, and many festival companies still dealing with the impact of COVID-caused cancellations in 2020 and/or 2021.

This Is Tomorrow was originally promoted by Newcastle-based SSD Concerts, although the event was taken over by Kilimanjaro last year, as SSD and its MD Steve Davis faced allegations of bad working practices. SSD subsequently stated that an independent investigation had found “no evidence of racism, misogyny or sexual misconduct” at the company, but that “poor and informal business and employment practices” had caused some issues.