Wantage Music Festival is at risk of being discontinued if new volunteers fail to appear.

The beloved summer-time festival was cancelled in June for only the second time in 45 years, and organisers have warned it could be dissolved for good due to a lack of helpers.

Alan and Gay Cooper, who have been on the organising committee since 2007, said it would be a loss to the town if the festival was discontinued.

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Mrs Cooper, 69, said: “Everyone thinks the festival has got a good future, but there’s a limit to what we can do without volunteers.

“If no one comes forward, we’re going to have a meeting in a month’s time to dissolve the festival and that would be such a shame.”

The Wantage Music Festival Association, the charity which runs the festival, needs a new chairman and three more volunteers to continue the event.

A meeting will be held in Wantage Methodist Church on Thursday (September 28) at 8pm for anyone who wants to get involved.

The festival usually takes place over two weekends and has a range of categories for entrants from five years-old to over 55s.

Mrs Cooper, who is treasurer of the association, said: “It gives the opportunity for anyone to come along and perform.

“It gives you a chance to perform in front of an appreciative crown and professional musicians, who give advice on what you can work on.

“We don’t like to go overboard on the competitive side of it, but that is still there.

“There are prizes for some of the best but all entrants get a certificate and a written marksheet giving helpful feedback.

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“It was our first ever music festival, and it gave us the encouragement to perform here, there and everywhere.”

Mr and Mrs Cooper, who live in Didcot, first performed at the festival in 1983. The said the experience “changed their life” as it gave them the confidence to continue performing.

In 2011, the couple shot to fame when they reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent playing the handbells.

“We got to meet people like Kermit the Frog, will.i.am, and Greg James, and it was all started by Wantage Music Festival,” said Mrs Cooper.

Mr Cooper said they owed a lot to the festival, and added: “We have personally been working on it for about 20 years so it would be very upsetting if it was discontinued.”

Previous prize-winners have included the talented trumpeter Sasha Canter, who went on to win the brass section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 202.