Organisers of the Rhythms of the World music and arts festival have released detail of their ‘back to the future’ programme for its 25th anniversary, which replaces the annual weekend celebration at Hitchin Priory.

The Comet: Amy Hopkins, chair of Rhythms of the WorldAmy Hopkins, chair of Rhythms of the World (Image: Archant)

The charity behind the community celebration revealed in November that they couldn’t go ahead with a ‘big weekend’ event after going into the red.

But this summer’s programme, which takes in existing events as well as new ones which hark back to the festival’s town centre origins, aims to keep the Rhythms spirit alive and bring in cash so that creditors can be paid what they are owed.

Many of the events will be free, but collectors will be hoping for generous support to get the organisation back on an even keel so that it can plan for the future.

The first official RotW event is the beer festival at Queen Street’s Half Moon pub this weekend with music acts supplied by the Rhythms team.

Two June concert dates in the town’s historic St Mary’s Church – a popular Rhythms venue before the festival outgrew the town centre – and a three-day feast of music at Club 85 in Whinbush Road themed to echo established stages at the Priory festival are highlights of the summer programme, along with a festival of busking around the town centre.

There will be at least one event at the Priory itself – a summer ball in July in support of the Hitchin-based Dr Hadwen Trust, which funds medical research which does not involve animals.

Chair of trustees Amy Hopkins said: “We are delighted to be working with so many local businesses and community groups for our 25th anniversary year events, including Hitchin Festival, Mary Exton Primary School, Hitchin Round Table and St Mary’s Church.

“We have a fantastic series of events planned and although these are smaller events than our traditional festival, we are confident there is something for everyone to enjoy.

“We will be announcing full details and dates very soon.”

If you want to get involved in this summer’s programme, visit to find out more.