Waterfront festival could be extended to celebrate jubilee

113028-756_TREX_SR_26/8/11'Trex front man Rob Benson blasting out hit after hit at the Gosport Waterfront Festival.''Picture:Steve Reid 113028-756

113028-756_TREX_SR_26/8/11'Trex front man Rob Benson blasting out hit after hit at the Gosport Waterfront Festival.''Picture:Steve Reid 113028-756

The Tandem Men George Agate, left, and John Whybrow greeted by friends, family and members of Portsmouth North End Cycle Club just outside the city's ferry port. 
Picture: Habibur Rahman

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GOSPORT’S Waterfront Festival could become a four-day event to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee next year.

The festival, which took place over three days in Walpole Park in Gosport last weekend, is an annual event with thousands of people from the town and beyond attending.

Now Gosport Borough Council is looking to move next year’s festival to the long bank holiday weekend at the beginning of June, when the Queen will celebrate 60 years on the throne.

An extra bank holiday to celebrate the jubilee will take place on Tuesday, June 5, and the government has announced plans to move the bank holiday at the end of May back a week to June 4.

Councillors are keen to take advantage of the long break for four days of celebration.

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of the council, said: ‘The festival this year was absolutely brilliant.

‘We’re now looking at plans for next year.

‘What we would love to do is to hold a Queen’s diamond jubilee festival over a four-day period.

‘That way we can celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee in style.

‘It is a good way for the community to celebrate.

‘It’s a very popular event. We want to take advantage of the bank holiday Monday and Tuesday.’

Next year, the council plans to introduce more events for youngsters to encourage a younger audience to attend.

This year saw around 13,000 people through the gates.

T-Rex, Chas Hodges of Chas and Dave, and Toploader headlined over the weekend.

And despite the council having to lend the committee which organised the festival £42,500 to keep it afloat, Cllr Hook has said the council will get every penny of the money back.

‘We were never in any danger of not getting the money back,’ he said.

‘It was purely to manage the cash flow.

‘Some people wanted to be paid in advance.

‘We are confident that all the money is coming in.’

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