SUNDERLAND will not host its biggest music festival this year.
After four consecutive years of holding the Split Festival at Ashbrooke Sports Ground, organisers have announced a year off in 2013.
But they have promised to return in 2014 with a bigger and better event.
Over the years, Split Festival has brought Johnny Rotten with PiL, The Charlatans and Maximo Park to the city as headliners as well as providing a platform for a host of local acts.
Split Director, Barry Hyde, said: “We have decided to follow in the footsteps of the greatest festival on Earth, Glastonbury. Every four, or so, years Glasto has a fallow year. This is for many reasons, to rest the land, to make improvements and to give The Futureheads time and space to write and record our sixth and hopefully greatest album to date.
“We will still be organising some special events throughout the year and we look forward immensely to Split 2014. With this fallow year, we can make Split 2014 our best ever.”
The organisers say they are keen to improve the event even further and have also began working with The Arts Council in order to develop the infrastructure and foundations of the business side of Split.
Ross Millard from Split Festival explained: “From day one it’s been pretty crazy and we put the first Split together in six weeks, which was, in hindsight, madness. Even though the festival only lasts a weekend, there is so much work to do in preparation that we now really need to take stock of so many things from a logistical point of view.
“With this in mind we the Split team are working with a number of organisations, such as The Arts Council, and have also held consultation meetings with other well known festivals, so we can create a better organised infrastructure, so, if you like, Split is bigger, better and structurally stronger. In the meantime, we are already planning a number of Split fringe events, which we’ll announce in due course.”