A MUSIC festival dating back more than 30 years has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dunbar Music Festival, formerly known as Dunbar Traditional Music Festival, was due to take place later this month.

However, organisers have decided to shelve the event for 2020 due to the restrictions placed on public spaces and large gatherings, and instead focus on next year’s celebrations.

A new committee was appointed in January to foster a new ambition for the festival, which has provided traditional music to the town since 1988.

Neil Allison, the new chairman, said: “Whilst we are very disappointed that the festival won’t take place this year, we are excited to use this extra time to create a fresh, new approach and develop a festival programme for all of Dunbar to enjoy.

“It will never be more important to support the town’s traders and attract visitors here and we’re very much looking forward to playing a part in that.”

The new committee plans to expand the range of both musical talent and venues to ensure the programme appeals to the whole community.

Children and young people will continue to be a major focus and the festival is already in talks with partner organisations within East Lothian to create specific events, including special seminars for young people interested in developing careers within the creative industry.

The full festival programme will be revealed in spring alongside a series of special events and fundraising initiatives planned in the run-up to next September.

Hannah Renton, owner of the Royal Mackintosh Hotel and long-time supporter of the festival, said: “The festival has been a much-loved fixture in the Dunbar calendar for many years and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed how the town comes alive on the last weekend of every September. It has always brought a lot of visitors into the hotel too and I’m sure it will do the same next year.”

James Hughes, manager of the Brig and Barrel, highlighted the opportunity that the festival would present next year. He was hopeful the event would attract a number of people to the area.

He said: “Small businesses have been hit hard over recent months and it’s never been more important for us to work together to attract people out to spend money in the town. The Dunbar Music Festival will be a much-needed boost for that and I look forward to being a part of the 2021 programme.”

More information on the festival can be found at dunbarmusicfestival.co.uk and on social media.