Witney Music Festival will not take place this month after negotiations with West Oxfordshire District Council over licensing had to be extended following public challenges.

The scaled-down event which would have featured just 10 local bands was due to take place on Saturday, August 21, on Church Green.

It is now hoped it will be rescheduled for September.

Chair of the festival Eric Marshall said: “It comes down to licensing. It’s a due process that needs to be gone through to enable the event to go ahead. It’s important that everyone has their views heard.”

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He said he understood two people had come forward with concerns.

A statement from organisers shared yesterday said the postponement was due to ongoing negotiations with the council about 'certain aspects' of the festival.

It said: "In light of Covid-19 restrictions being lifted, Witney Music Festival was once again in a realistic position to host an event.

"We have tried our very best on a heavily reduced timeline to produce an event this year for the residents of Witney but at this time we are currently still in negotiations with the local authorities over certain aspects of the event.

"This means we are unable to go ahead on our scheduled date and are hoping to rearrange a new date as soon as possible.

"Unfortunately, this process cannot be completed before the original date hence the postponement."

Mr Marshall said it was never going to be the festival "as we normally do it".

"It was about putting on a small event close to town to try to encourage people to come in to give the town and the shops, restaurants and pubs a bumper day and to support local businesses.”

He said a grant of £9,750 from Witney Town Council was going to pay for it.

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On the festival’s webpage, disappointed Witney residents pointed out that many other festivals like Reading and Leeds have been able to go ahead and accused district councillors of being a 'killjoy'.

Mr Marshall said: “That’s a complete misunderstanding. Witney Town Council and West Oxfordshire District Council have been super supportive.

“The district council wants this to happen. They and the town council have been incredibly supportive and we are having long and constructive conversations with them now.

“It’s just unfortunate that in normal circumstances we would have gone through this process over a much more prolonged period but because of the lockdown we’ve only had since July.”

In place of a live event the hugely successful Witney Music Festival Reconnecting! was broadcast on YouTube, Windrush Radio, music streaming service MixCloud and video live streaming service Twitch in June.

The live festival was cancelled in 2020 due to lockdown.

In pre-Covid times the town's Leys recreation ground has been transformed into a field of fun, drinking and music for the festival.

In 2019 it was estimated it drew a record-breaking crowd of more than 15,000 people.

Popular acts included electronic group N-Trance and Prodigy tribute band Jilted Generation.