AND’s journey and what next?

Tue 05 May 2020

In March we took the decision to postpone the 2020 edition of AND Festival, in response to the significant global and ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The postponement has been incredibly disappointing for so many individuals who have worked tirelessly alongside the AND team to realise what would have been an extraordinary festival and international gathering. The decision, while a difficult one, ensured we prioritised the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, artists, our festival community and audiences.

We are living through an extraordinary time with implications of the pandemic reaching far beyond the festival. The programme includes artists and creative collaborators based across the globe; Liverpool, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cape Town, New York, Yogyakarta and beyond. The impact on our sector is significant, as our community faces multiple health, work and social challenges whilst trying to adapt to unprecedented changes in day-to-day living. 

We are extremely grateful for all the support and solidarity we have received from; our funders Arts Council England, BFI, British Council; our partners Culture Liverpool, Wirral Council and Warrington Council; and all the venues, programme and commissioning partners, AND board members and individuals we have been working with over the past year.

After responding and adapting to the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions, we move to a period of reflection and finding new ways to work together. From a team that was embedded in sites across the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal to working from homes, gardens, bedrooms and kitchens, finding new ways to connect and create collectively. It is also a period of transition for AND as Ruth returns from maternity leave, and we say farewell to Jonathan who has led the organisation for the past 9 months. 

We are thinking about the future and what the spirit of Abandon Normal Devices means at this time. We can see glimpses of community, civic, state, environmental and global change, as well as explorations and challenges to ideas of a new normal as we emerge from this crisis.

We’re working hard to reimagine this edition of AND Festival and the production of the many ambitious commissions and site-responsive experiences under these extraordinary and unpredictable circumstances. We look forward to sharing good creative news as soon as we are able to. 

We wish everyone health, hope and solidarity as we move together towards better times.

Ruth McCullough & Jonathan May


Image: By The Sound of Things by Kate Davies 

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