Across the Pond: An Unfortunate Start for London Festival Yard Life

Bertie Magit / May 7, 2012
photo from Yard Life Festival

Although it may not feel like spring in London right now, the blossoming abundance of music festivals in the UK and Europe confirms that spring has indeed sprung.  The first festival I had planned to attend was Yard Life in London. With promising local acts such as Pete Doherty, Babeshadow, Gaoler’s Daughter and many more, this new festival seemed to be off to a good start.

Student Jen Lloyd created Yard Life as her final project for University. Serving as a showcase for local musicians and artists, this festival went above and beyond established music festival expectations by collecting donations for MS Research in exchange for tickets. Charitable and entertaining – what could be better?

Unfortunately, like the first pancake in every batch, the launch year for a new festival is doomed to have at least a few minor issues. After a last minute date and venue change the 2012 Yard Life Festival pancake was burned to a crisp and deemed inedible. Less than a week before the rescheduled date the Yard Life team regrettably sent out a notice that Yard Life was cancelled.

The reasoning for the cancellation is explained in detail in the letter now posted on the Yard Life website. To sum it all up: they had acquired the wrong license, which permitted only 499 people to attend, a number far fewer than the amount of tickets distributed. On top of that, because all the money ticket sales brought in went to MS Research, the festival depended on sponsorship that Yard Life lost as a consequence of the drop in permissible attendees.

While Yard Life failed to take off, its goal to bring the artistic community together to gather money for a good cause was not dreamed up in vain. Yard Life still raised money for MS Research and hopefully this ambitious festival has inspired others to mix musical indulgence with feasible philanthropy.

2 thoughts on “Across the Pond: An Unfortunate Start for London Festival Yard Life

  1. WOW, that was a brave final project by Jen. Congratulations!

    Even though it had to be cancelled due to a couple of issues, you should be proud that you got the music community together and all for a great cause. You also had to face launching in 2012 which in itself is a battle, what with :
    (1) the current recession and people not having much spare cash 
    (2) Golden Jubilee offering lots of free events across the UK
    (3) The Olympics.

    Even some of the big well established event organisers have bowed out of 2012.

    Jen; when you create your next successful event, ensure you add it to a free UK wide events & activities website

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