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.