A POPULAR Swanage music festival has been "doomed" by coronavirus.

The Swanage Blues Festival which was due to take place in October has been cancelled.

Attracting "bumper crowds" it would have boasted 44 bands playing 70 gigs across 18 indoor venues.

Held over four days it would have been the 33rd festival.

However, organiser, Steve Darrington has urged people to support "suffering musicians" unable to play during the pandemic.

He is calling on fans to support performers by buying CDs.

Steve said: "I realised that our October Festival was doomed.

"I do appreciate those of you who offered Swanage Blues financial assistance but there are others who need it more.

"I refer of course to the musicians, those who give so much of themselves for our entertainment. Many are suffering from a lack of income during these difficult times so if you can afford it, please check out their websites, and buy a CD or something to help keep them afloat, please."

He added: "Personally, in accordance with the original guidance for vulnerable people like myself, I've not been out of my bedsit bungalow and nobody's been allowed in for nearly five months now.

"I'm certainly looking forward to better times. Keep safe and well. Thank you."

Steve thanked suppliers who he said kindly allowed him to transfer expenses that were paid this year towards the event next spring.

Artists who were due to play this year's event included Back Porch, The Robert Hokum All Star Session, Jon Vaughn and Ray Drury, The Mustangs and Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion.

They were to play across The Black Swan, The Centre, East Bar, Grand Hotel, The Legion, The Waterfront and The White Swan.

Despite the cancellation, the Swanage Blues Festival is due to take place next year on March 5, 6, 7 and 8.

In 2018 hundreds of music lovers braved ice and snow to attend the festival.

Some gigs were cancelled, as a number of performers struggled to make the journey amidst Storm Emma doing her worst to interrupt proceedings.

For more information visit the festival website.