Hitchin's much-loved Rhythms of the World music festival is no more after the decision was made to dissolve the charity.

At the charity’s AGM on March 20, all three trustees resigned and could not be replaced, meaning the festival will come to an end after 31 years.

"This is not a situation we wish to find ourselves in," said the outgoing trustees in an emotional statement on the festival's website. 

"However, with declining membership and other constraints, Rhythms of the World can no longer continue to deliver its charitable aims.

"Although sad, we ask that the community remember the great times that we had over 30 years of bringing music and art to Hitchin.

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The Comet: Rhythms was a free town centre event until safety concerns forced a move to Hitchin Priory in 2008 (pictured).Rhythms was a free town centre event until safety concerns forced a move to Hitchin Priory in 2008 (pictured). (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

"We offer our heartfelt thanks to all that volunteered and supported the festival over the years and will work to ensure that the legacy of Rhythms of the World is cherished into the future.

"The outgoing, and past trustees, thank you for 31 years of Rhythms."

Started back in 1992 by Oxfam, the festival quickly grew from one stage. But when the chairty pulled out in 1999, the festival returned for the new millenium as huge free event, with stages dotted throughout Hitchin town centre.

It was extended to a full weekend event in 2001, and by the mid-2000s, 10 stages were being used for Rhythms and the popular largest dreamcatcher was introduced.

But, 2007 saw the festival make a £12,000 loss, and safety concerns forced it to be moved out of the town centre and into Hitchin Priory for the 2008 edition.

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The Comet: ROTW returned at Hitchin Town Hall in 2019.ROTW returned at Hitchin Town Hall in 2019. (Image: Strand PR)

Rhythms would call the site home until the 2014 festival, when it slowly began to wind down. After years of inactivity, a smaller festival was held at the refurbished Hitchin Town Hall in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

As for the charity, the statement on the ROTW website confirmed: "The membership was unable to elect trustees at the AGM, which means it is unable to continue and will be wound down.

"After some discussion, it was agreed to form a working group to assess and propose a mechanism for disposal of the company’s assets in line with the articles of association."