Hitchin’s beloved Rhythms of the World music and arts festival will return this summer – on a smaller scale, but with just as much diversity and fun.

The Comet: Rhythms of the WorldRhythms of the World (Image: Archant)

That’s according to the Rhythms committee, who have confirmed the festival will be back for one day only on Saturday, August 11.

The music will start in the middle of town before continuing into the night at Club 85 on the corner of Whinbush Road.

The committee said in a statement: “The intention this year is to make the festival the most fun, entertaining and safest event yet, albeit on a smaller scale than past events – but with as much diversity.

“We are looking to the whole community to support this event by making it the most memorable one yet.

“We couldn’t host ROTW without the generosity of local musicians, arts groups, volunteers and sponsors who donate their time, energy and services for free year on year.

“We hope to see you all on August 11 to make this year’s ROTW the best yet.”

The organisers said the festival would start at 11.30am in the High Street and move into Market Place, with further stages hosted at St Mary’s Church.

Complementing the music will be an arts festival hosted by Hitchin Art Hub.

The music will wrap up in town by 8pm before continuing at Club 85, where there will be a ticketed ska and Mod-themed night.

Rhythms was once billed as the largest free world music festival in Europe, and has been a fixture in the Hitchin calendar for more than a quarter of a century.

It was forced into a hiatus after the 2016 event while a number of organisational and financial matters were resolved.

Its return after two years comes after there was a huge outpouring of community support at a public meeting last July. The revival was initiated with WestFest at the Westmill Community Centre in October.

As part of the rebuild, the trustees have been on the lookout for new volunteers.

If you’d like to find out more about Rhythms and how you can get involved, have a look at rotw.uk.