A four-day music festival set to be held at the foot of the South Downs has been cancelled – just days before it was due to take place.
The ‘One Love Festival’ was planned to be staged at the privately-owned Highden Estate at Washington from August 10-13.
But festival organisers – a company called Back To Our Roots – say they have had no option but to cancel the event after a contractor pulled out.
A spokesperson said: “We are sorry to disappoint so many people.” Thousands had been expected to attend.
The festival – billed as the ‘No 1 reggae festival’ – has been held annually for the past 15 years but the organisers now say: “This is the end of the festival for the foreseeable future. We are so sorry to all our friends, the One Love Family who have supported us for so long.”
A spokesperson said that a core contractor had pulled out on the eve of an important deadline and that the contractor’s withdrawal meant that Horsham District Council could not extend the deadline and had to withdraw its event license. They stressed it was ‘not the council’s fault.’
They added: “We are beyond upset that this has happened – festivals are sometimes like a house of cards: remove one important section and it all comes tumbling down – this what makes events so stressful.“We’re not just devastated that we will not be seeing another One Love Festival, we’re devastated for the hard work and legacy of the event and what One Love Festival stands for and how hard we’ve worked over the last 15 years to build this event.”
They went on: “There are no other words, we really, honestly feel utterly devastated to have reached the conclusion that we have to cancel the event like this.”
Last year the One Love Festival was held on the Wiston Estate between Washington and Steyning and featured Julian Marley – son of the legendary Bob – and former M People lead singer Heather Small.
Festival organisers are now urging anyone who has bought tickets to contact their bank/credit card provider directly to process a refund.