THE Bluedot festival team has cancelled its event for this year but is hoping to welcome back music and culture lovers in 2022.

Taking place at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, the weekend long festival has become one of the most popular annual gatherings in the United Kingdom over the last couple of years.

The news that this year's festival, planned for July 22-25, being cancelled comes as little surprise, with the pandemic wreaking havoc on all live music events over the last year or so.

Announcing the news on its website and via social media, the team behind the festival said: "The challenges of putting an event on at this time led us to ask for your feedback recently, and your suggestions and preferences are a large factor in our decision – you are as much part of bluedot as the artists, speakers and performers.

"The responses to our survey suggested clearly that compromises in your weekend such as changing the layout or line-up or moving to a new weekend would have been disappointing and unacceptable.

"We explored these changes to give us the best possible chance to return.

"Following your feedback, it became clear that keeping the same festival on the same weekend would have been the only option that meets the expectations we and you and our partners all share for the festival.

"However, due to a lack of government support around insurance for events such as ours, the risks are too great.

"Despite continuous calls from our industry over the past six months the Government have refused to step up and provide us with protection via a Government-backed insurance scheme.

"Without such a scheme, which would have provided us with security, the overwhelming risk and high upfront costs for us to hold bluedot this year are sadly just too high.

"As a small independent festival bluedot is left with a simple choice – make unacceptable changes to the weekend & risk the future of the festival or look ahead to 2022 and start the planning now for our greatest event yet."

Despite the blow of cancelling plans for 2021, the team say they will be working hard on making next year's festival one to remember, curating very special events to explore the universe deeper than ever before.

They added: "Rest assured this doesn’t mean we are on hold; with the certainty of moving the next edition to 2022 we are able to kick-start the planning now and put more time and passion than ever before into delivering an out of this world event.

"We’ll be sharing those plans with you in the coming weeks & months as we look forward to our return to Jodrell Bank.

"We are already planning some extraordinary collaborations and unique performances that will showcase the bluedot which so many of you have fallen in love with, and we hope you will continue to support this and join us in 2022 by holding on to your tickets.

"If you would like to request a refund, your ticket outlet will be in touch with details of how to do this shortly.

"We’d like to wish other events which will be going ahead our huge positivity in their plans for the coming months, and we of course thank our home of Jodrell Bank and University of Manchester for their support of bluedot, the NHS and key workers whose tireless work brings us closer to normality each day and of course you for your unwavering and continued support through the last year, and into the future."

It is hoped Bluedot will return to Jodrell Bank on July 21-24 2022.