Boris Johnson has cancelled the Rise Festival less than a year after he stripped it of its anti-racist theme.
The news, which I caught wind of last week, was confirmed by the Evening Standard today.
A spokesperson for the Mayor said:
"Without a major sponsor in place it is not considered appropriate to spend such a large amount on a single music event, particularly during a recession. Instead, the money will be used to fund a multitude of events and grassroots activities across London."
What the Mayor fails to acknowledge of course, is that trade union sponsorship for the festival was only withdrawn after Team Boris decided to strip it of it's anti racist message.
In fact the TUC, who established the event in 1996, confirmed to me today that they have not been asked for any sponsorship by the Mayor this year.
"No great surprise"
In any event trade union sponsorship last year only made up a minority of the funding for the event, which was primarily funded by the Mayor and private sponsors.
And with all purpose removed from the event, there was now little reason for others to fund it.
As the Labour Assembly Member Jennette Arnold said today:
"The festival embodied all that is good about London, bringing people of all ages and cultures together. It was a celebration of London for Londoners - something Boris just doesn't get. It's no great surprise the Mayor couldn't find a sponsor for the event, given that he had already got rid of all its meaning. Who is going to sponsor a festival of nothing?"
Fears that the Mayor's re-branding was just the first step towards cancelling an event his team disapproved of were first raised after Munira Mirza's "doing anti racism for real" article.
These fears were soon confirmed when Patience Wheatcroft included the following in her 'Forensic Audit Report':
"There may also be scope for reviewing the list of events offered through Events for London; it is possible that a detailed critical analysis could generate substantial savings, particularly if entire events such as the ‘Rise Festival’ (which cost over £300,000) were cancelled. Careful consideration should be given to the rationale behind such events..."
That 'careful consideration' has now been taken.