For the last seven years, ArcTanGent has been one of the better independent festivals that can be found in the UK. Originally operating in the relatively niche area of Math Rock (hence its name), it has since expanded to include a more diverse range of acts, and over the years has seen the likes of Cult of Luna, The Fall of Troy, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Coheed & Cambria and Meshuggah all perform there. This year was set to be their biggest yet, with the mighty Opeth confirmed to be headlining.
Of course, COVID-19 then struck and like every other live show on the planet, it was postponed and eventually cancelled outright. This is bad news; it is an independent festival, smaller in stature than the giants of Reading & Leeds, Glastonbury etc, so while those festivals can financially get away with one year off, ATG unfortunately can't.
As a result of this, the owners and organisers of the festival recently opened a crowdfunding campagin. "As an independent business with no corporate backers, we have a whole year with little to no income", they say on the page. "This crowd funder will quite simply secure the long term survival of ArcTanGent."
Why should you back it? Well, for one thing, there are some amazing incentives on offer. T-Shirts, wristbands, early entry next year, guaranteed access to the pit barrier area and cashback of +50% are all on offer to those who donate to help keep the festival alive. Opeth have already confirmed that they will play their headline slot at the 2021 edition as well, which is all the more reason to ensure that it goes ahead.
Furthermore, independent festivals are fantastic experiences and their naturally smaller nature gives them a different vibe; one of family and community. There's a real connection between the performers and the audience at these festivals and ATG is no exception. It would be a real shame to lose it because a pandemic meant that the whole project collapsed. It deserves far better than that.
As a previous attendee of the festival - albeit only once in 2016 - this writer can certainly confirm that it was a fantastic experience and that it would be a huge loss if it were to fade away. The genres of music it prioritises are not ones that are well supported by radio or other festivals; even other rock festivals such as Download rarely put many of these bands on. Niche though they may be, the continous popularity of ATG proves that there is a market for these bands, a dedicated set of fans who will descend upon a country field in the West Country every year like an annual pilgrimage. These fans deserve to see the festival continue, and the festival deserves the ability to keep feeding them.
Basically, ArcTanGent is an excellent festival that needs your help. The link to their crowdfunding page is below; if you'd like to donate or learn more about who they are and what they do, it can all be found there. The good news is that they have already raised £25,000 at the time of writing, so the prognosis is strong. Let's help them get over the line though.
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