Boris Johnson has scrapped Rise, London's popular annual multicultural music event, despite insisting last year that major festivals are an "important way" of bringing Londoners from diverse backgrounds together.
The mayor said that he planned instead to stage "Rhythm for London" – two days of events to engage youngsters to learn to play music.
Johnson blamed the decision to cancel Rise on its failure to find a sponsor. Last year the summer event attracted 100,000 people.
Rise was first set up in 1996 and was developed by Ken Livingstone, Johnson's predecessor as mayor, eventually becoming the largest anti-racist festival in Europe.
After taking office last May, Johnson dismayed the festival's main sponsors, trade unions Unison and Unite, by announcing that the anti-racism message would be removed from the festival's promotional material.
Sponsors withdrew their funding, leaving City Hall to pick up the £551,000 bill to stage the event in Finsbury Park, north London.
Johnson's director of arts policy, Munira Mirza, justified the decision at the time by saying it was "no longer appropriate to have overtly political organisations involved in the programme or in the community".
The Rise festival has been used as a platform by music artists to urge youngsters to vote against the British National party.