A LEADING blues magazine has expressed disappointment after council chiefs pulled the plug on a major festival which has attracted stars from the UK and overseas.

The 10th Abertillery Blues Festival was to have been held this summer but Blaenau Gwent Council confirmed yesterday it had cancelled the event as it sought to save £20m in three years.

Alan Pearce, the founder of the bi-monthly magazine Blues Matters, said: “It is a great sadness for blues fans from all over the country who come, on what has become for many, a regular journey to Abertillery for the blues festival.

“Blues Matters magazine has supported it from day one and we have watched its reputation grow year on year.

“Let’s hope that next year a generous sponsor can step up to the stage.”

Blaenau Gwent council said it had decided to transfer the management of its leisure and cultural services to a non profit organisation called the Life Leisure Trust.

A spokeswoman said: “The council has had to look long and hard at what services it can continue to provide. So, a decision has been made not to hold the festival.”