A MUSIC festival which was due to take place to attract a new audience to Durham’s Miners’ Gala has been cancelled.

Organisers of the Gala, which is due to take place on Saturday, July 8, had hoped to stage the new festival to make the annual event even bigger and attract a younger audience.

But the Marras Festival, which had been due to feature headline act The Lightning Seeds, has had to be cancelled because organisers were facing a deficit.

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The Miners’ Gala will go ahead as usual, with speakers including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and film maker Ken Loach.

Ross Forbes, director of the friends of the Miners’ Gala, said: “It was forces beyond our control really. We hadn’t saved enough tickets and were facing quite a large deficit so it has been postponed until next year to get it more together and make sure it happens.

“Everyone who did buy tickets has got their money back and we will have another go at it next year. It was disappointing but we are sure we can get it off the ground next year with more resources.

“The trade unions have said they will help so we have considerable optimism.”

Other acts lined up for the festival, which had been planned to take place at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus on the outskirts of Durham, included Kathryn Williams, Cornshed Sisters, Pama International, The Lake Poets, World Headquarters, Social Room, Jazz Riot, Frankie and the Heartstrings and Dennis.

A statement from the festival organisers said: “We would also like to thank all the bands and artists who agreed to play as part of the recently revised line-up.

“Priority will be given to them to play next year’s festival. This year’s ticket holders will also be given priority.

“Plans are already in place to stage a bigger and better festival in 2018.

“It will feature top headline bands, a showcase for local acts and lots of family entertainment.”

The festival was organised due to demand for camping from those attending the Miners’ Gala – which sees crowds of around 150,000 visiting Durham and attracts political activists and trade unionists from all over the country.