THE Tenbury Music Festival has been cancelled this year.

Uncertainty over Brexit has been blamed as one of the factors behind poor advance ticket sales.

A decision to call it off was made two weeks before the big event with the organisers facing a loss of £21,000 had they gone ahead.

The problem was a lack of ticket sales that has been blamed upon a number of factors.

To break even it would have been necessary to sell at least 600 tickets and just 40 had been sold at the time the decision to cancel was made. At this stage it had been expected that based upon previous years there would have been at least 300 advanced sales.

Graham James, a director and founder of the Festival, said that there was no choice.

“It would have been irresponsible to have gone ahead and risked a situation in which we may not have been able to pay suppliers,” said Mr James.

He said that some money had already been spent that could not be recovered and that this amounted to about £2,000 but there were sufficient funds to cover this.

The decision to cancel the Festival was made at a committee meeting ‘with great regret.’

This would have been the fifth Music Festival and the event had established itself as one of the fixtures in the Tenbury annual calendar bringing people into the town from the surrounding area and further afield.

Mr James said that there was no single cause for the failure this year but that a number of factors had come together.

“Part of it is the general situation that Tenbury is in at this time,” he said.

“There is no Post Office, we have lost Banks and Bowketts has closed.

“Then there is Brexit that has caused great uncertainty.”

Mr James said that with money tight people were limiting their spending.

The Music Festival has in the past received a significant amount of sponsorship from local businesses, but Mr James said that there was a limit to how many calls that could be made on companies in the area.

Tenbury Music Festival was founded in 2015 and appeared to be establishing itself as a mini Glastonbury in the Orchard.

In the first year the visitors included the legendary Robert Plant.

People came to the Festival from all over the country and were able to camp out overnight.

Visitors to the Festival also gave a boost to the local economy, spending money in shops, pubs, restaurants, hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation.

News of the cancellation was made on the Festival website and social media page.

‘Dear followers. It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that the festival has been cancelled. Unfortunately, the lack of ticket sales and significant drop in sponsorship this year, has meant that the event is not financially viable to run. We wish to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over the years. All tickets purchased will be refunded at place of purchase.’

But it is hoped that the Music Festival is not gone forever.

Mr James said a small event was being considered for later in the year and it is hoped that the summer festival will be back in 2021.

“We may look at doing it perhaps every other year,” added Mr James.