Rhythms of the World showcase gigs ahead of festival's 2014 return

PUBLISHED: 14:43 21 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:44 21 July 2013

Blyth Power at Club 85. Pic: Josh Jacklin

Blyth Power at Club 85. Pic: Josh Jacklin

Archant

THE spirit of Rhythms of the World was alive as organisers of the cancelled Hertfordshire music extravaganza staged a series of smaller gigs over the scheduled 2013 festival weekend.

Beau Jangles at Club 85. Pic: Josh JacklinBeau Jangles at Club 85. Pic: Josh Jacklin

With no suitable venue found for the full festival this year, organisers arranged a host of concerts and fun events across Hitchin to showcase what fans can expect when ROTW returns in 2014.

Scores of music fans turned out to watch a scorching line-up across what would have been the regular Rhythms festival weekend.

Amy Gibson, chair of trustees for ROTW, said: “We’re delighted so many people have shown their support despite there being no festival this year.

“We’re working hard to secure a festival venue for next year, but wanted to keep the Rhythms of the World spirit alive in the meantime. Thanks to everyone who came along to show their support.”

Roxy Searle. Pic: Josh JacklinRoxy Searle. Pic: Josh Jacklin

The programme kicked off on the Friday night at Club 85, in Whinbush Road, with a DJ set from the mighty Don Letts, who was joined by ROTW festival favourites and local DJ crew, Blunt Beats.

Festival supporters of all ages attended the MusicNet East showcase of young bands and songwriters at Club 85 the following afternoon.

In the evening, The Victoria Pub, in Ickleford Road, hosted country and blues in the barn with Sir Walter J Wallis, while Club 85 rocked with the impressive local line-up of Fort Hope, supported by Kumara Junction, Shoot The Director and The Awkward.

Hundreds of people filled Hitchin Market Square on the Sunday for a Family Fun Day, with face painting, a bouncy castle and visits from Fireman Sam and Peppa Pig.

The Astronauts. Pic: Josh JacklinThe Astronauts. Pic: Josh Jacklin

ROTW’s Icehouse Stage, known for its showcasing of local talent, was transported to the square for one day only and hosted acts including Hitchin Youth Band, Hertfordshire Community Youth Choir and young local singer/songwriters.

Meanwhile, St Mary’s Church welcomed everyone to Music from Faiths of the World, an afternoon of performances from different faith communities, together with a sprinkling of Bollywood.

Over at Club 85, there was a free, all-ages acoustic session featuring 12 fantastic acts.

In the evening, The Victoria hosted Lazy Summer Sunday DJ set featuring Marcus G Hurley, Julian Rochfort and Hanna Brown.

The weekend came to a high-energy climax with a taste of the Arcadeclectic Stage at Club 85, bringing together three previous festival headliners – Scum of Toytown, Blyth Power and The Astronauts.

Amy Gibson added: “This series of events are part of our Rhythms of the World Presents and Rhythms of the World Community Outreach programmes which aim to bring an essence of the festival to the local community.

“With the hundreds of people who have attended our events this weekend, it’s clear we’ve met our charitable aim.”

Rhythms of the World was cancelled this year because Hitchin Priory, which had hosted the festival, opted out after last summer’s wet weather left the wedding venue in a muddy state.

Negotiations are ongoing for a site for 2014.

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