A HUGE comedy festival which was set to take place in Maldon this Friday has been delayed until next year.

EssexFest was set to bring comedians Frankie Boyle, Sara Pascoe, Milton Jones, Shappi Khorsandi, Andrew Maxwell, Simon Brodkin, and Glenn Wool, to the town's Promenade Park on Friday evening.

However, Maldon District Council has revealed the organisers did not have the relevant permissions in place to host the event at the park and called a halt to proceedings.

EssexFest said it had been looking for another venue, but said it was too late to get permissions in place to make it a "full package" for revellers.

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The organisers posted on Facebook: "It is with deep regret that due to the current climate and issues beyond our control the Essex Comedy Festival on Friday is postponed and will be rescheduled to a new date.

"We tried to relocate the venue but it was too short notice in a pandemic to apply for a premises licence to serve alcohol as we wanted to provide a full package for spectators to enjoy.

"This is devastating not only to us but to you too especially as we’ve all waited so long to finally get back together.

"We have been working with our artists, suppliers and partners to deliver a spectacular comedy event with headline comedians and we share your disappointment.

"While this has been hard to process we want to commit now to create an even bigger comedy festival and we can now confirm the event will be rescheduled to a new date and venue in close proximity which will be confirmed in the next coming days.

"The events industry has been hit so hard and we would ask you to please support us and the comedians by joining us in 2022 as all tickets will automatically be rolled over.

"Once again we apologise but the events that have happened are beyond our control."

The district council said its safety advisory group had "repeatedly" requested information from the organiser about the festival, as "a number of important documents remain outstanding or fail to provide the necessary assurance of safety for those frequenting or working at the event".