The return of the much-missed Rhythms of the World festival may not be on this weekend – but its spirit will echo through Hitchin at support events being held around the town.

Rhythms’ planned full return after two years was cancelled after North Herts District Council’s licensing and appeals sub-committee last month blocked a town centre event, following advice from police and district council environmental health.

Artists, musicians and venues around Hitchin have since stepped in to keep the spirit of Rhythms alive with a series of free events in support of the festival charity. All the bands have agreed to play free of charge.

Club 85, on the corner of Whinbush Road and Verulam Road, will be hosting A Taste of Rhythms from 12 noon onwards – with the bill opening with unique performer Somananda, whose kit includes sitar, didgeridoo, tabla, djembe and much more.

In the evening, there will be a double bill at Club 85 featuring London indie-ska four-piece Heavyball and classic ska tribute group Hope and Glory.

From 3pm until late on Saturday, there will be acoustic sessions at Osinsky’s, off Market Place. Artists there will include Rivers, Chris Andrews, Jasmin Donovan and Celtic Krystal.

Finally, The Victoria – on the corner of Ickleford Road – will be hosting music throughout the weekend at its Rhythms of the World Fringe Fest.

There will be live blues-rock and street food on Friday night, and more singers and bands from 4.30pm until late on Saturday.

Finally, on Sunday there will be music from 1pm to 8pm – with performers including The Skeltons, The Mighty Collider and Adam Smith.

Market Place itself will host Hitchin Art Hub from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, with have-a-go activies, demonstrations, supporting stalls and a Rhythms of the World information stand.

There will be the opportunity to make mosaics and help create the iconic Rhythms of the World dancing man.

All the various shows and events are free of charge apart from the Heavyball and Hope and Glory show, for which tickets cost £10 in advance or £12 on the door. Tickets are available from Club 85, Jolly Browns, Farley’s, the Gatefold Record Lounge, Unikorn or David’s Music in Letchworth.

Rhythms started in 1992 and was once billed as the UK’s biggest free festival of world music.

The Rhythms team is to consider later this year whether to pursue a major event next year. In a statement, it said there was no current intention to close or rebrand the charity.