Rhythms of the World plans fun day for Hitchin

Rhythms of the World want to put on a family fun day

Rhythms of the World want to put on a family fun day - Credit: Archant

RHYTHMS of the World looks set to put on a smaller-scale event in a town centre on the weekend this year’s festival would have been held.

Festival organisers say they are looking at putting on a family fun day in Hitchin in July.

The event, which will be on a “much smaller scale” than the festival – attracting, at best, hundreds rather than thousands – will feature music from young people in Market Place.

There are also plans for a family area similar to that at RotW, with a petting farm, face painting and arts and crafts activities, plus street entertainment.

Speaking at Hitchin area committee to request a financial grant, Rhythms performance director Steve Smither said: “We want to keep the momentum of RotW alive, to encompass some activities which would have been included at RotW.

“We feel it will be a really nice event, one that will really add to the town and bring something special to Hitchin.”

There were concerns from councillors that the event could be too big for the town centre.

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But Mr Smither said it would not be of the same scale as the festival, with music only audible in the Market Place.

“We think it will attract families and young people,” he added.

“It will be very small scale.”

Town centre manager Keith Hoskins, who has been in discussions with festival organisers, welcomed the event, which will be held on the same weekend as other Hitchin Festival activities, including It’s a Knockout at Hitchin Boys’ School.

He also stressed the scale of the festival.

“We need to be sure people know this isn’t bringing the festival back to the town – we don’t want 20,000 people suddenly turning up,” he said.

And he added: “Hitchin always ups its game during summer and this year looks to match it.”

Councillors at the area committee committed £1,500 to the fun day, having been asked initially to grant £2,000.

Committee chairman Cllr Ray Shakespeare-Smith said: “We wanted to support the application for a fun day to be held in the town centre to engage with families in Hitchin and give them the opportunity to come together as a community.

“It will be packed with entertainment for children and families and we hope that everyone in Hitchin will come along and join in the fun.”

The event will be held on Sunday, July 14.