Split will be ‘bigger and better’ when it returns in 2014, promise organisers

The Futureheads at the launch of Split Festival 2012 at Ashbrooke Sports Club. They are (left to right) Ross Millard, Raff, David Hyde and Barry Hyde.

The Futureheads at the launch of Split Festival 2012 at Ashbrooke Sports Club. They are (left to right) Ross Millard, Raff, David Hyde and Barry Hyde.

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SPLIT will be even bigger and better next year.

That is the pledge today from festival organisers who have announced the event will not take place this year.

Though many live music fans have spoken of their dismay in response to the festival’s absence this year, Rob Deverson from the Split committee says it’s a chance for them to improve upon the city’s biggest home-grown music spectacular.

“We’re all disappointed that we needed to come to this decision,” he said.

“One of the main reasons is that we want to improve the event and focus on its core element of local culture, not just musically, but artistically.

“We’re working with the Arts Council so that we can use their knowledge and understanding in order to improve our offering.

“Rather than organise this year’s event in a rush, we’d rather take our time and get it right.”

Over the years, Split Festival has brought John Lydon with PiL, The Charlatans and Maximo Park as headliners at Ashbrooke Sports Ground, as well as providing a platform for a host of local acts.

Rob, who is also a trustee at Ashbrooke Sports Club, said: “We’ve had a positive response to the announcement so far.

“There are one or two people trying to work out the reason, but it’s simple - we want to improve on what we’ve developed.

“General comments are that everyone can’t wait for 2014.”

Over the years, the festival has also helped breathe new life into the once ailing historic sports club.

“Split is a wonderful thing in the area,” said Rob.

“It’s one of the most significant things that’s happened to Ashbrooke.

“Before Split, many people just used to come for the fireworks on Bonfire Night and didn’t realise what else we had to offer.”

This year’s break from the Split Festival also gives The Futureheads, who play a pivotal role in the event, a chance to write and record their sixth album.

A number of Split fringe events are also in the pipeline and will be announced in the coming months.