SADDLEWORTH's Whit Friday Brass Band Contest - the community’s "greatest free show on Earth" scheduled for June 5 - has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The concellation will break with a long tradition of Whit Friday brass band contests in the moorland villages.

Last year, 119 bands of every calibre moved between the 11 Saddleworth contests, competing for individual and overall awards.

Co-ordinator of the contest Bob Rogerv said: “Following much soul searching and debate between the 11 Saddleworth and Oldham Whit Friday Contests, we have reluctantly decided that we must follow Government guidelines, and guidance from Brass Bands England, and not hold the contest in 2020.

"We know that this is one of the highlights of the calendar not only for local people, but also for Brass Bands nationally and internationally.

"We look forward to running a fantastic event on May 28, 2021, and hope that everyone keeps safe throughout these unprecedented times.”