Rhythms of the World festival kicks off

AFTER months of preparation and hard work, the time has finally come for Hitchin to host Rhythms of the World.

The weekend-long festival, which kicks off tomorrow (Saturday) in the Priory grounds, features a line-up of musical talent including Indie chart boppers The Subways and headliner for the weekend Raghu Dixit.

The Comet sponsored Route to Rhythms competition winners Monaco Bears are also at the festival and will be the first band to play, kicking off with their performance tomorrow at midday.

The five-piece teenage Indie group, who cite the likes of Vampire Weekend, The Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand as their influences, said that they were excited to be performing.

Drummer Luke told The Comet: “We are opening the festival, so we want to try and get people in the crowd going. We want to create a good atmosphere for the rest of the weekend.

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“We know what we are going to play, and hopefully it will go down well with the crowd. It will be all our own songs - it’s unlikely to include covers.

“We’re also playing at a prom this week, but after that we won’t be playing much, as we’ve done quite a lot recently and we don’t want to overplay. This weekend should be good, we’re looking forward to it.”

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Event organisers are busy with last minute preparations, and have said that there are still tickets left for the weekend.

They have also promised an “airborne surprise” for everyone on the Saturday, just after noon.

Head of communications Cath Cole said: “Online ticket sales have now ceased and tickets and programmes are only available from local outlets and our new market stall which will be in Hitchin Market Square from 10am to 3pm from Wednesday to Friday this week.

“If you do buy your ticket on the day, you can only get these from the main gate. Pre-purchased ticket holders can enter by either gate. There are some 20th festival souvenir programmes left but they are limited edition so we advise you to get yours early.”

Herts Police has also issued some advice to festival goers this weekend.

Chief Inspector David Partridge said: “We know most people coming to the festival are there to have a good time, enjoy the music and the community feel to this event.

“Our officers will be on patrol in the town centre in Hitchin and will be supporting the organisers as appropriate. The officers will be visible and approachable, welcoming questions and talking about any concerns.

“Although these are rare occurrences, sometimes people target these types of events to commit crime, like taking people’s wallets, purses and phones from pockets and bags. Don’t let thieves ruin what is set to be a great weekend.”

Anyone wishing to drink at the festival can take up to 750ml of wine or four cans on beer on site each, but the wine must be decanted into plastic. As always, a Challenge 21 policy will operate on the gate, so organisers are advising people to bring ID with them.

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