Big Chill festival won't return in 2014

Hereford Times: Lily Allen is among the names to have performed at the Big Chill in previous years. Lily Allen is among the names to have performed at the Big Chill in previous years.

IN its heyday, thousands attended to hear the likes of Leonard Cohen, Kanye West and Lily Allen perform.

But the end seems nigh for the Big Chill after promoters told the Hereford Times this week that there are no plans for the festival to return next year.

Officially no one from Festival Republic, the team behind the Big Chill, will be drawn on the long-term future of the party that brought music lovers from across the country to the grounds of Eastnor Castle.

But with next year’s decision already announced, many in the area have given up hope on the festival ever returning.

The event, which came to Eastnor in 2002, was cancelled in 2012 when organisers cited a clash with the London Olympics.

It was not run this year either and David Littlewood, the general manager at Eastnor Castle, believes Festival Republic has no intention of ever bringing the Big Chill back to Herefordshire.

He said: “We knew the festival was not coming back.

The first year the festival was cancelled it did have an impact on business, so we were able to budget accordingly the next time it was cancelled and just put other events on in its place.”

The festival not only brought thousands to Eastnor but also provided a boon to the local economy of Ledbury each summer.

Hilary Jones, who is on the Ledbury Carnival committee, is one person who is not giving up hope just yet.

“It was good to have the focus on Ledbury that the festival brought,” she said.

“The business that it brought to the town was noticeable, and the festival was world renowned, so I hope this is not the end.”

The Big Chill started life in London in 1994 when it was set up by Katrina Larkin and Pete Lawrence.

Festival Republic, which would not go into details on its decision for next year, took over the Big Chill in 2009.

Comments (5)

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11:06pm Fri 9 Aug 13

Biomech says...

An absolute shame, I've been waiting every year since it was canceled to go.
Just one more thing to drive people away
An absolute shame, I've been waiting every year since it was canceled to go. Just one more thing to drive people away Biomech

8:01pm Sat 10 Aug 13

dippyhippy says...

Completely agree Biomech,it was a great festival. Leonard Cohen was there a few years back. I wonder why they have decided to pull the plug? I always believed it was quite a money spinner. I understand the cancellation in 2012, but it seems a real shame not to bring it back.
Completely agree Biomech,it was a great festival. Leonard Cohen was there a few years back. I wonder why they have decided to pull the plug? I always believed it was quite a money spinner. I understand the cancellation in 2012, but it seems a real shame not to bring it back. dippyhippy

9:09am Mon 12 Aug 13

pete lawrence says...

As the co-founder of the event it is in some ways sad to see the demise of a once great festival in a splendid location, which we built gradually and steadily over the years. But many original Big Chillers remarked that the atmosphere and direction of the event changed so markedly after FR's involvement that many original fans stayed at home, leading to rapid decrease in ticket sales, which is the real reason for its demise, one would suspect. Everything has a shelf life. Maybe something new and exciting will take its place...
As the co-founder of the event it is in some ways sad to see the demise of a once great festival in a splendid location, which we built gradually and steadily over the years. But many original Big Chillers remarked that the atmosphere and direction of the event changed so markedly after FR's involvement that many original fans stayed at home, leading to rapid decrease in ticket sales, which is the real reason for its demise, one would suspect. Everything has a shelf life. Maybe something new and exciting will take its place... pete lawrence

1:02pm Mon 12 Aug 13

Biomech says...

I think you should bring it back how it was without FR.
I've never been, but as soon as I decided to the other year, it has been repeatedly cancelled :(
I think you should bring it back how it was without FR. I've never been, but as soon as I decided to the other year, it has been repeatedly cancelled :( Biomech

2:56pm Thu 15 Aug 13

dippyhippy says...

Yes, bring it back Pete! Even if it was scaled down a bit, to begin with at least, and then build it up again! Go on - you know you want to!!
Yes, bring it back Pete! Even if it was scaled down a bit, to begin with at least, and then build it up again! Go on - you know you want to!! dippyhippy

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