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Rhythms of the World

You are in: Beds Herts and Bucks > Entertainment > Music > Rhythms of the World > ROTW - a new start!

Rhythms of the World

Rhythms of the World

ROTW - a new start!

How did this year's new look ROTW come about, and what has changed?

Rhythms of the World Festival

12-13 July 2008

Hitchin Priory

The Rhythms Code

Rhythms of the World is organize entirely by volunteers from your community. Please show your support for all these people by following the Rhythms Code.

1. Enjoy the unusual, each day of the festival

2. Respect the town of Hitchin for hosting the festival

3. Take personal responsibility for your rubbish

4. Do not bring glass with you

5. Show your appreciation

6. Leave your car at home

While the days when ROTW sprawled across Hitchin Town Centre, and music lovers mingled with shoppers in a unique free festival maybe over, the event lives on in a new format and this year will take place in the grounds of Hitchin Priory on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July.

In October 2007, the Trustees of the festival took the decision that the event could no longer be held in its old format in the town centre as it was increasingly difficult to manage it spread across many venues. In addition, the sheer number of people attending puts a lot of pressure on the Town and it was also felt that there wasn't enough room for what was wanted in the future. A number of local venues were investigated before the decision to hold ROTW 2008 at Hitchin Priory was taken.

As a result, for the first time there will be an admittance charge of £5.00 per day as organisers say that this is now the only way that ROTW can cover the ever increasing costs of running the festival. And their Website says that this will also help to raise funds to support more community projects – something that has been an unfulfilled aim of the ROTW Charity for many years. Steve Smither, ROTW Treasurer, explained more about the charge.

Hammerfluff

Hammerfluff

"When we did the budget for putting on Rhythms at the Priory, it was going to cost us £150,000" he said, "so we had to look at all the ways that we could raise that money.

"We looked at all our different forms of income - we'd got sponsorship, grants and programme advertising but we still had a big gap and it was a case of looking at that gap and saying how can we fill that. We felt it wasn't unreasonable to ask people to pay a small fee to actually attend the festival and I think £5.00 for an adult and £4.00 for a child is fantastic value for the quality and for the amount of entertainment that you're going to get at the festival."

So what do you get for your money?

Well, ROTW 2008 will run from midday until 11.00pm on the Saturday and from midday until 9.00pm on the Sunday. There will be performances of a worldwide range of music and dance across six stages, a children’s area, art displays and, for the very first time, a grass ‘Arena’ which local sporting and other community groups can use to both compete in and exhibit.

Six Point Five

Six Point Five

So, it is hoped that a new site will be an opportunity to do things better than before, and include new things and involve more of the community. Steve also revealed that this year is really about survival.

"It's a very difficult time that the festival's going through, it's a transitional period" he said.

"We're putting on a fantastic event and we're really hoping that the local community buys into that and sees that what we're trying to do is put something into the community."

last updated: 13/06/2008 at 16:29
created: 13/06/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Graham Duff
Definately the best ever! Something for everyone in the music and a real family atmosphere. It maybe difficult to stop it getting larger and larger each year, but for the moment it is a real joy - Hitchin's very own WOMAD, complete with church pews!

Sarah
I think Flexit dance academy was the best performance i had seen out of both days.

Pat Sleat
Wasn't it amazing? I certainly had doubts about it like most people, but am I glad I decided to give it a go. I actually heard more bands this year with the stages nearer to each other. And just to prove that Rhythms appeals to all ages, I'm 70!

fiona lucas
ROTW was BRILLIANT!Great venue, loads of good bands, all the usual food and craft stalls, all brought together and it worked so well, thank you already looking forward to next year!

Kelly Lownie
Rhythms was amazing this year!i think that having it in the priory gave the whole thing the real feel of a festival,i had an amazing time and everything there was just fantastic.

brendan barker
Just got back. had a great time. It is different to how it was but that's the way it goes. Still some great acts and great music to be had.Love it. Back next year ??

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