An annual festival has been cancelled due to funding problems.

The Lewes Folk Rock Festival, which is one of the town’s major cultural events, will not go ahead this year for the first time since it began in 2002.

Organisers say the decision to have a “rest year” has been made as income from the event is limited by venue capacity and the need to maintain a sensible ticket price.

In the past many headline bands have performed at the festival for substantially reduced fees and have often been accommodated by members of the organisational team.

However the team said this is not a sustainable model for growth.

Organiser Steve Harrison said: “In endeavouring to program 2009's event we have realised that we cannot finance the calibre of headline acts we need to maintain the event's growing reputation.

“2009 will therefore be a year of rest during which we will investigate the options for external funding.”

He said promotional material from bands and singers will be kept on record until 2010.