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Down at the Abbey will not be taking place this September 2024.

When we (organisers Heavy Pop) launched the first event, in the autumn of 2019, it was with the expectation it would take three successive event years of hard work and our financial investment to get the event to a sustainable point.   We had a plan in place for this at that moment.     However, the pandemic arrived some months after the first event and we have been on the back-foot ever since, with the entire live music ecosystem also now under serious threat.

We were very proud and hugely encouraged by the audience feedback from our event last year:

* A new and growing audience came to the event; 60% had not attended the event before, with 36% coming from outside of the RG postcode area.

* Of this audience 91% gave the event 4 or 5 stars (out of 5) for value for money, 95% gave the event 4 or 5 stars as an event overall, and 99% would return to Down at the Abbey again.

* We believe all event promoters/operators have a duty to work at the highest level on environmental and sustainability standards.    79% of our audience travelled to the event via foot, train, bus, or bicycle and 95% thought our volunteer led waste and recycling system worked well.

Despite this glowing feedback, we have been carefully monitoring the current conditions in the festival and events sector nationwide.  We have since concluded that proceeding with the event this year would carry too much risk and would most likely be the end of Down at the Abbey, Heavy Pop, and our sister festival event, Are You Listening?

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) reports that 50+ UK music festivals have been cancelled or postponed so far for 2024 and they have been calling for government led intervention to the sector including a temporary VAT reduction from 20% to 5% on festival tickets, amongst other measures.    Whilst we hope these interventions will arise soon, they will not come in time for many.

Anyone who has purchased tickets for Down at the Abbey 2024 can request an immediate face value refund from your point of purchase (our ticketing partner Gigantic).     Alternatively, you do not have to do anything and can instead hold on to your tickets as we are currently working on making the 2025 edition, the weekend of Sep 6th2025, a viable reality.

Tickets will automatically rollover and be valid for the new event.   Further ticket sales for the festival are now paused and they will not be back on sale until we are about to make our first artist line-up announcements for 2025.     When tickets do go back on sale, they will be at a higher price than the currently purchased ‘super early birds’.

Thank you to everyone who has attended Down at the Abbey previously and intends to attend in future.    We sincerely appreciate your support.