The founder of Long Division has thanked the public for supporting the festival in its seventh year.
More than 3,000 people attended Wakefield’s annual DIY Music and Arts festival, which this year ran for five days.
Dean Freeman, founder and festival director, said: “It was nice, it was quite big over the five days. We did a lot more cultural programming this year, so it was a really nice event. It was really successful and lots of families came out, and I think [in the past] we were considered more of an evening thing, so that kind of family stuff was really nice.”
The festival this year featured more than 120 performers across 30 venues, including a stage in the city’s precinct, which Dean called a “huge highlight.” He said, “On the Saturday it was BBC introducing and it was really cool because people were doing their shopping, walking by, who had never seen the stage before and they were just noticing, stopping and watching.”
He also praised the festival’s headline act, Billy Bragg, who performed in the Cathedral on Saturday night. He said: “He was great. We persuaded him to do a secret show on the Saturday and we announced it half an hour before. He really got into it and was looking through the records and he stayed nearly an hour in the end, chatting to people and taking photos.
“He really enjoyed being in Wakefield. He was perfect because he’s kind of known but he’s got a load of integrity as well. He really committed to Wakefield – he had his lunch at Marmalade!”
This year, the festival was free to attend (in previous years, tickets have cost around £25) and featured more cultural events, including face painting, instrument workshops and storytelling.
Of the festival’s more family-friendly approach, Dean said: “Long Division had the same audience every year, which is really cool but I think it was kind of a niche group of people who go to gigs all the time. But because it was a ticketed festival, so for family it’s quite a costly risk to take.
“It was free this year, so people could take the risk. There’s lots of families in Wakefield who are looking for things to do. I’m really pleased because that’s the next generation of young people in Wakefield enjoying music.”