One-day event will go ahead this summer ahead of full return in 2022 • Confirmed so far: White Flowers, JOHN, The Orielles, Anna Phoebe, Breathe Panel, Anna B Savage, DJxKWF, Heavenly Recordings, White Rabbit Books and MIRRY: From The Shadows Into The Light
• Tickets on sale now from seachangepresents.co.uk
28/6/21 — Sea Change, one of the most distinctive events in the festival calendar, is delighted to confirm that it will return this year, aiming to spark a genuine cultural recovery in the South West. Following the inevitable cancellation of two editions of the festival, Sea Change will return this summer with a one-day event taking place in Totnes on 28 August 2021. The full three-day event will return to Totnes from 27-29 May 2022.
This year’s Sea Change event will see live music, film and conversations happening at atmospheric venues across Totnes, including St Mary’s Church, the Totnes Cinema, The Barrel House Ballroom and The BulI Inn.
Confirmed so far are dream-pop duo White Flowers; the BBC 6Music A-listed JOHN; The Orielles presenting a screening (and Q&A/DJ set) of their ‘La Vita Olistica’ film; violinist and composer Anna Phoebe; South-East based four-piece Breathe Panel; singer-songwriter Anna B Savage; improvisational duo DJxKWF; and MIRRY: From The Shadows Into The Light, an installation and live experience (with musicians Tom Fraser and Simon Tong) that dives into the magical music and archives of Mirabel “Mirry” Lomer.
White Rabbit Books will be joining the weekend too with conversations including Jeff Barrett and Robin Turner in conversation with author Roy Wilkinson about ‘Belief In Magic’ (charting the first
thirty years of Heavenly Recordings) and Gordon Burn Prize-winning author David Keenan who will be talking about his masterly fifth novel, Monument Maker.
This year’s event marks the start of an exciting new partnership with The Bull Inn (Eco Hotel of the Year 2020’ The Times and The Sunday Times), run by Geetie Singh-Watson MBE, which will host intimate events and bring beautiful festival food to Totnes.
Sea Change’s return comes as many festivals remain in jeopardy and are being forced to cancel for a second year running. Given the ongoing precarious situation across the arts, Sea Change’s road back to life will be purposefully gradual, with the immediate emphasis being on bringing a safe, small and manageable event to Totnes this year. Director Rupert Morrison explains, “After the journey we’ve all been on, we’d never be complacent about being able to get people back to congregate safely.
We’ve designed a day of live arts for intimate audiences that enables us to bring people back together with safety. We’ve kept it as small as we can and there will likely be some social distancing measures, but, whereas large events will continue to be so susceptible to governmental COVID parameters, our scale enables us to present a euphoric live experience. We can’t wait.”
The first two Sea Change events (2016 and 2017) generated over one million pounds for the local economy and today’s announcement and continued commitment to the area will be very welcome news to a town synonymous with tourism. Sea Change is committed to bringing new and exciting events in music, art, film, literature, conversation and culture to the South West and specifically Totnes. All events will follow Sea Change’s original mission statement, ‘Always intimate, always different, always special, always rare’.
Rupert Morrrison adds, “I remember how different the town felt on those first few weekends. It was more alive than it had been in decades and everyone felt it. We’re still really in love with the town and we’re going to bring Sea Change to Totnes for a full weekend from 27th – 29th May 2022. We’ve started production now and it feels great getting back to it.”
Since the last proper edition of the festival in 2019, Sea Change became one of the first events to go digital, ran an extremely successful Crowdfunder campaign to ensure its survival and was also awarded a grant as part of Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund. Now, the re-branded Sea Change Presents has already operated a pioneering socially distant live show with Squid (on the eve of their BBC Jools Holland appearance) at St Mary’s Church and has announced forthcoming Totnes shows for Gruff Rhys and Pip Blom.
As it returns, Sea Change also announces the formation of an advisory board to support its events, which includes Venue Group Head Of Production Chris Pollard; Rough Trade Books co-founder Nina
Herve; live arts programmers Chris Bye, Susanna Grant and Kirsteen McNish; artists Matthew Shaw and Jenny Frances; press officer Michael Barrett; artist manager Andrew Ellis; journalist and broadcaster Laura Barton; and Heavenly Recordings founder Jeff Barrett. One of the board’s first commitments has been to sign up to the PRS-supported Keychange movement, a global network working towards gender equality in the music industry.
Rupert Morrison explains: “We wanted to this past year as a complete redux; a one-time opportunity to really look at what we’re doing and where we want to be. The members of the board have all been instrumental in Sea Change’s successes so far and I am thrilled that I have been able to call on them all to ensure that we continue to head towards something genuinely different”.