NEXT year’s Cloudspotting music and arts festival has been cancelled following the death of founder and artistic director Matt Evans.

Cloudspotting celebrated its tenth birthday party in July with The Orielles and Snapped Ankles headlining the three-day family festival in the heart of the Gisburn Forest.

Co-founder Matt died in September aged just 47.

Festival spokesman Helen Ficorilli said: “We are a very small organisational family, and it is with our hearts broken that we have come to the decision to cancel Cloudspotting 2022.

“It is impossible to explain in words the depth of emotions I feel following Matt’s passing.

“Matt’s loss has created a valley in our organisation and means that whilst we all come to terms with and heal from this tragedy, we cannot deliver the calibre of festival our loyal and discerning customers have grown to expect.”

Helen added that the decision to call time on the 2022 event does not necessarily indicate the end of the festival, which had already sold out for next year.

She said: “This does not mean that there is no future for Cloudspotting. Change will come, and we will share this news when we have it.”

From humble beginnings, the festival was first staged in the beer garden at the Aspinall Arms near Whalley, with original co-founder Boo Gilbraith at the helm in 2010, the festival moved to a new home in the Forest of Bowland and emerged as an award-winning international music festival, attracting acts from across the world.

“In July, we were fortunate in our micro-festival size to host the delayed 10th anniversary of Cloudspotting and enjoy the party we had all waited 18 months for,” said Helen.

“We’ve had the pleasure to work with some amazingly talented groups and individuals and we’ve had the best time of our lives.

“We want to say a big thank you to the partners and stakeholders who have supported Cloudspotting. Without the support of these organisations at grass roots level, the UK arts industry could not nurture and grow such inspiring home-grown talent.”

Helen also thanked the production crew behind the scenes at Cloudspotting and the festival volunteers..

“Theyve become more than friends and without them they we could never have come this far,” she said. “And to our families who have fiercely supported our choices regardless of the personal sacrifices they have had to accept and everybody who has joined us in the forest to create such wonderful memories.”

Cloudspotting will automatically refund tickets bought for 2022 during the next few days.