City of London Festival Closes back to listing

We’re very sorry to see the announcement that the City of London Festival has been permanently closed; the lack of any kind of programme announcement – and the quiet departure of the Director some time ago – implied this might be the case.

COLF ran for 53 years and in recent times had become a significant date in the Outdoor Arts calendar, and, of course, it played a hugely important role as a major international music festival.

Interestingly, on the day that the Arts Council detailed the decline in local authority cultural spending (the highest reduction being in London), the statement on the COLF website explains “it has become increasingly difficult to attract the level of funding required to stage the annual Festival.” Given that it was based in one of the most affluent locations in the world, this is rather worrying for the whole of the culture sector, as we are increasingly encouraged to seek sponsorship and support from private and corporate partners.

The statement finishes with a rather sad but clearly heartfelt tribute:

“Most importantly we are extremely grateful to all the Festival staff that have contributed during the 53 year period to creating such a positive impact and animating the City with arts and culture each year.”

Read the full statement from the City of London Festival.