Sun shines on Wickham Festival hailed as huge success

POPULAR Folk band Show of Hands on stage
POPULAR Folk band Show of Hands on stage
Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward, mayor and mayoress Cllr Geoff  and Tina Fazackarley, with other councillors at the topping out Picture: Malcolm Wells (171120-8909)

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AS the sun set on the final day of Wickham Festival it was declared a huge success by the organiser.

The event, which kicked off on Thursday with Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, saw 20,000 people enjoying the laid-back atmosphere and top quality music.

AIR BANJO One of the happy members of the crowd at the Wickham Festival. Picture: Cameron Windsor

AIR BANJO One of the happy members of the crowd at the Wickham Festival. Picture: Cameron Windsor

After a chequered past, moving to venues across the area, organiser Peter Chegwyn believes he has finally pulled off the perfect festival.

He said: ‘It’s easily the best festival I have ever been involved with in 20 years.

‘It has been a massive success, everything has gone perfectly.

‘In some ways it has been a victim of its own success because Friday was a complete sell-out and we had to turn people away.

‘It meant the roads were a bit clogged up but we will learn from that and make sure it doesn’t happen again.’

Friday night saw KT Tunstall and fellow Scots The Proclaimers take to the big top.

On Saturday popular folk bands Show of Hands and Bellowhead drew in the crowds.

And yesterday every resident of Wickham was given free entry to watch the likes of the John Otway Big Band, The Wurzels and The Levellers close the festival with a bang.

Mr Chegwyn added: ‘Wickham has welcomed and embraced us this weekend.

‘Despite having 20,000 people here there wasn’t one incident of trouble.

‘It thinks big for such a little village.

‘The sun has shone, the music has been great and everyone has been walking around smiling.’