Rhythms festival was a great success

SIR - I thought I would drop you a line to say how much I and my family enjoyed Rhythms of the World this weekend. We went on Sunday. The organisation was great, we felt looked after due to the presence of security. There was not any trouble and I only

SIR - I thought I would drop you a line to say how much I and my family enjoyed Rhythms of the World this weekend.

We went on Sunday. The organisation was great, we felt 'looked after' due to the presence of security. There was not any trouble and I only saw one person who had over indulged. This happened to be a middle aged woman who had seemed to enjoy Pimms a little too much!


By email

SIR - Wow....what an event - Rhythms of the World 2008!

I have spent my whole weekend at the festival and it was truly brilliant. The grounds of the Priory came alive with the sounds and smells of music and food from around the world.

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Giant bubbles, fluorescent wigs and fancy dress made for a real festival atmosphere and people of all ages were soaking up all that Rhythms had to offer.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year to put on such a fantastically well organised event. Long may it continue!


By email

SIR - Rhythms of the World has been a fine advertisement for the town of Hitchin for the past decade, but it is time to rename the event.

No longer is it a world music festival, judging by the vast majority of the content of this year's event. The shift to the Priory was sound judgement and the event was far more comfortable than the past two years, but where was the music from other parts of the world? We had rapping from Westmill, Sikh musicians from Hitchin, Egyptian dancers from North Herts and countless bands whose role in life was to replicate the heady days of Johnny Rotten.

It all suggested that a new audience is being targeted. The event seemed to be a success, however, but anyone expecting a cosmopolitan mix of music would have been disappointed.

I suggest the ROTW organisers rethink the way the event is billed - before someone enforces it.


Turnpike Lane


SIR - I would like to say to everyone who organised and helped out with Rhythms of the World thank you and well done.

I am proud to have taken part after watching and enjoying it for so many years. £5 for a day's music with world class performers is amazing value, a very nominal amount and the privilege and ease of being able to walk there. Womad is £100 for the weekend in comparison. So yes it was different not being in the town centre but it was also the same; the same great music, atmosphere, activities, volunteers. The same buzz of wandering around bumping into old and new friends and catching up.

Yes the rains came for the first time I can remember but it was lovely being at the Priory with everything well laid out and in beautiful safe surroundings. Thank you, I for one had a fantastic time and appreciate all your efforts.


Grays Lane


SIR - I am writing to say a huge public thank you to all the people of Hitchin who helped make Rhythms of the World 2008 such a brilliant event - those that made it happen and those who came along and had such a great time.

As your readers know, ROTW has had our share of doubters and some controversy over recent months about moving to Hitchin Priory but I think we showed over the weekend that change is not necessarily bad and that community events such as ROTW have a place in making Hitchin a fantastic place to live. It was an incredible festival made so by everyone who came with an open mind and gave back to the Festival the wonderful, friendly atmosphere of Rhythms past.

I must personally thank all the sponsors and supporters, trustees, our committee and particularly our tireless volunteers who will have been on site for some 10 days. They have undertaken a simply mammoth task in sometimes stressful (and wet) conditions with great humour, dedication and determination. Thank you. And finally two special thanks

Firstly to Thierry Viatge and his staff of the Hitchin Priory - not only for allowing us to use the beautiful Priory grounds but also for their practical support (both morally and physically in terms of endless tea and coffee). And secondly to a very special man, Bob Mardon, who has for many years dedicated his life to Rhythms and who, as those who were at the main stage at the end of Sunday will know, stood down as a trustee and performance director. ROTW 2008 was a fitting tribute to the man who has for so many years been Mr Rhythms and I, on behalf of the whole of ROTW, Hitchin and the world music scene, say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

Matt Wyle

Very proud Chairman of ROTW