A LONG-STANDING festival weekend has been cancelled.

The International Birdman Festival, which takes place every summer in Bognor, has been cancelled for this year after organisers admitted they had not left enough planning time.

The event was due to take place on Sunday, September 1 on Bognor seafront.

This year, which would have been the 40th anniversary of Birdman in the West Sussex town, the weekend was partnering with the first ever Bognor Pride which as a result has also been cancelled.

The Pride event was scheduled to take place on Saturday.

Birdman organiser Sarah Booke-Cook said that the team behind the event is extremely disappointed that the weekend had to be cancelled.

She said: “This would have been our 40th birthday.

“It’s disappointing but we will fly again.

“We decided to put the two events on together.

“We thought it would make a nice whole weekend.

“But I don’t think we realised how big the event would become. It was quite big and we just ran out of time.

“The event is not gone, it’s just having a bit of a rest.”

However, after a backlash from the community, there will be a separate Pride event held on August 31 which was due to be the day of the inaugural Bognor Pride.

The free to attend Pride on the Pier event will include several drag acts, an Elton John tribute and plenty more to keep the whole family entertained.

Sarah added the Birdman team is already planning for next year and the festival will return to the town over the weekend of August 22 and 23.

She said: “It’s been a massive learning curve for us.

“We’ve met with Arun District Council and already planned next year’s Pride and Birdman.

“We’ve done a lot of work already for next year.

“We would have hopefully moved it forward a bit more and by joining it with Pride it will have a whole rebirth.”

Birdman first came to Bognor in 1978, and has since been held in the town and down the road in Worthing.

Worthing’s Birdman has been cancelled since 2016 due to safety concerns.

Bognor Pride and the Bognor International Birdman is due to return in August 2020.