Rhythms of the World on hunt for Hitchin venue

RHYTHMS of the World organisers have stepped up a plea asking landowners interested in hosting next year’s festival to contact them.

Organisers were told two months ago by the owners of Hitchin Priory – where the festival was held for five years – the event could no longer be held there.

Offers have come in, and a shortlist drawn up, but organisers are looking to keep the festival in Hitchin.

They said this week they want to keep the festival running indefinitely.

Gill Hannington, chairman of the charity’s trustees, said: “We believe we owe it to the thousands of people who attend the festival each year and the 800 or more volunteers who freely give their time, to find an alternative home for what we all believe is an amazing community event.

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“While we are grateful for the many offers we have received from venues outside Hitchin, we are extremely keen to keep the festival in town if possible. It has been held here since 1992 when it first began.

“We have been doing our own research into potential sites and are currently in discussions with a few landowners, but recognise there might be some hidden gems in and around Hitchin that we don’t even know about.”

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Organisers are looking for somewhere in the region on 20 acres, with good access routes, and in a location which will create as little disturbance as possible for residents.

“We are confident there is a site out there that would be perfect to host Rhythms of the World and hope the landowner will get in touch,” added Gill.

“As a registered charity, we are keen to keep the ticket price for future festivals as low as possible, but we also know we were incredibly fortunate to have secured the Hitchin Priory site free of charge for so many years.

“We realise it may not be possible to secure a free site in the future and would encourage any interested landowners to get in touch with us.”

Anyone interested in knowing more should call 01462 420782, email info@rotw.org.uk, or contact organisers through their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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