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The ‘lost week’ at the VAULTS as organisers fear for the future of the festival

Unsurprisingly the final week of London’s biggest underground theatre fest is now lost to the coronavirus.

VAULT Festival staged in a warren of tunnels beneath Waterloo Station had been going full steam since January, but following the Prime Minister’s press conference on Monday advising audiences to stay away from theatres and pubs, organisers said they could not safely – nor would not want to – encourage people to act against explicit government advice.

Up to 500 shows were planned to perform in fourteen plus venues under and around Waterloo. However, those hoping to get in on the finale week have missed out. The festival organisers say over one hundred visiting companies have had their shows cancelled in what they have dubbed the ‘lost week’.

They are now encouraging fans of the VAULTS Festival to find these companies on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or wherever else to stay up to date with their announcements so you can go and support them as and when their shows are back on their feet.

They have put together a list of all the shows that lost their chance to perform, which you can access by clicking HERE.

Every year, they also launch a collection of playtexts curated from the Festival and published by Nick Hern Books. It’s called Plays From VAULT. They want people who attended or wanted to attend to can still buy one, posting it out as soon as they can – maybe a great thing while in self-isolation. They also have beanies, water bottles, and notebook – click HERE

Not publicly funded, instead relying on the income from tickets and bar & food sales to cover the ever increasing costs of making this hugely ambitious project organisers have admitted they are fearful of whether they will ever be able to return.

In a statement to their supports organisers said: “Those who know us will know we don’t have money to play with or a reserve of any significance. The nature of our industry, and our ethically-lead position in that industry, means we take on more risks than most, with a desire to support and provide more and more high quality opportunities for our staff and audience, far, far outweighing profit margins.”

“VAULT Festival has existed since its humble beginnings in 2012 to provide new opportunities for artists thanks to the support of our audiences. As of the 16th March, we don’t know what the future holds and whether there can be a future.”

By making a donation to VAULT Festival you can help make that future a little more likely. If you are in a position to make a donation – however small – it would be sincerely appreciated – click HERE


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