Norfolk festival cancelled amid 'challenging year'

Wide Skies and Butterflies at the Raynham Estate

Norfolk music festival Wide Skies and Butterflies has been cancelled, with organisers blaming rising production costs and lower than expected ticket sales - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A Norfolk festival gearing up for its first year has announced it will no longer go ahead this summer.

Wide Skies and Butterflies blamed an "unprecedented rise" in production costs and lower than expected ticket sales on the cancellation.

It was planned to take place over the weekend of August 5 - 7 and had hoped to bring some of the biggest acts in the UK to the Raynham Estate in north Norfolk.

SMS Event Production Ltd, the company behind the festival, has also ceased trading.

The line-up for Wide Skies and Butterflies (new names in green).

The festival had promised to bring some of the biggest acts in the UK to north Norfolk - Credit: Wide Skies and Butterflies

In a statement on the festival's website, Wide Skies and Butterflies said: "It is with deep regret that we announce that Wide Skies & Butterflies will no longer be able to go ahead.

"Despite the anticipation of a summer free of restrictions, 2022 is proving an incredibly challenging year for live music and events.

"The industry has seen an unprecedented rise in the costs of production alongside lower than expected ticket sales due to rising costs of living. 

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"For a festival in its first year the combination of these obstacles, as well as a key investment failing to come through, has made it impossible for us to go ahead."

The event planned to bring some of the country's biggest artists to the north Norfolk estate, with Hot Chip, The Vaccines and James named as headlines.

Other acts on the bill included Editors, Laura Mvula, Gabrielle and the Levellers.

The statement continued: "We would like to thank everyone for their support, including all the artists, our partners, suppliers, and local businesses, and in particular the Raynham Estate for giving us this opportunity.

"We are sad not to have been able to go ahead in such a fantastic location.

"Ticket holders will be contacted in due course."

The cancellation will be a blow to the live music industry in the county following two years of lockdown periods caused by the pandemic.