Organisers have sadly had to cancel this year’s Hitchin Festival in July due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Comet: Tim Farr, the retiring chair of Hitchin Festival.Tim Farr, the retiring chair of Hitchin Festival. (Image: Supplied by Hitchin Festival)

The yearly festival that celebrates culture and the arts in the town is being postponed for the first time since it began back in 1991.

The Hitchin Festival usually brings together a large number of events including concerts, walks and talks, music nights, film and live theatre, and comedy into one programme throughout the month of July.

The festival also runs a box office from the Hitchin Information shop on the churchyard supported by the Hitchin BID team.

Since it began, the festival has grown from a week-long event into a month-long programme of activities with something to suit all tastes.

In announcing the cancellation, Hitchin Festival tweeted: “I’m sure this will come as no surprise but it’s still very sad to have to make it official.

“We look forward to returning in 2021, bigger and better than ever!”

A statement from the Hitchin Festival directors added: “These are uncertain times so we don’t know how much the current Government advice will have been relaxed by July, which is why we’ve made the decision we have.

“If we get to July and some external events can go ahead, we’ll be happy to share details through our social media channels.”

The Comet: Last year's Rock and Roll with The Bluejays at Hitchin Town Hall. This year's Hitchin Festival has been cancelled. Picture: Supplied by Hitchin FestivalLast year's Rock and Roll with The Bluejays at Hitchin Town Hall. This year's Hitchin Festival has been cancelled. Picture: Supplied by Hitchin Festival (Image: Supplied by Hitchin Festival)

In the past two months the festival had taken on a new chairman, Glyn Doggett, a local actor who co-runs Mostly Comedy and also manages the Market Theatre in Sun Street, Hitchin.

Glyn had taken over the reins from Tim Farr, who has stepped down after over 20 years in the seat but remains a member of the committee.

Glyn said: “We had been planning a big relaunch this year too, but we’ll be saving all that for 2021 now and we want to promise you that next July we will be back, bigger and better than ever!”

He added: “I am aware that there are still many in Hitchin who don’t fully know what the Hitchin Festival is all about and who runs it and we want to change that.

“With all the extra time we now have to plan next year, we’d love to hear from new groups and organisations who may wish to be involved in 2021 and if you want to get involved in organising the festival, our committee is welcoming new members too.

“We encourage people to join us on social media to keep an eye on our plans for the future.”

To get in touch with the festival, email

You can also follow then on Facebook at, on Twitter @Hitchinfestival and Instagram @Hitchinfestival.