In the light of the continuing pandemic and the uncertainty of restrictions such as social distancing and face coverings being fully relaxed by August, Whitby Folk Week directors have taken the "extremely difficult decision" to postpone the 2021 festival until August 20-26, 2022.
They said in a statement: "The very essence of Whitby Folk Week is our community; being together to dance, sing, play music and be with friends and family.
"Ceilidhs, morris dancing, sessions, workshops, sing-arounds and bustling venues are at the heart of this, and they are simply not possible with any level of social distancing in place.
"Whitby Folk Week without these things would not be the Whitby Folk Week we know and love.
"There are also more practical considerations such as the availability of the Spa, ever changing restrictions and the fact that any financial risk in this already unpredictable year may well jeopardise future festivals.
"To ensure a positive future for the festival, we must be mindful of the ongoing need to protect each other, as well as the town of Whitby, and our festival and its reputation."
"For this year, we will contact ticket holders over the next few days and, as last year, will host a [email protected], which we hope you will support, to keep us all going until we can have the festival back to its old self.
"Hopefully, in 2022, we will collect our heather in person, hug our friends, dance, sing and play to our hearts' content.
"In the meantime, we send our very best wishes for continued health and happiness to all our supporters and their loved ones."