Festival fever takes over as Wickham event starts with style

Bo Ningen

Southsea prepares to get psyched for a new festival

  • Crowds of up to 7,000 expected at festival
  • Hit acts include Wilko Johnson, Billy Bragg and 10cc
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The sun came out as thousands of music-lovers enjoyed the start of a popular music festival.

The first night of the Wickham Festival saw performances from headline acts Wilko Johnson and Andy Fairweather-Low & The Low Riders.

The Pompey Pluckers performing at Wickham Festival 2015 ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151319-3598)

The Pompey Pluckers performing at Wickham Festival 2015 ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151319-3598)

And while Wilko – who recently beat cancer – had to finish his set 30 minutes early due to illness – there was still plenty to keep punters happy.

With more sun forecast over the next couple of days, the four-day event looks set to be bigger than ever, with crowds of up to 7,000 expected.

Organiser Peter Chegwyn said: ‘It is a little village, Wickham, but with big ideas. It is great to see people from around the world coming here to Hampshire and having a lovely time in green fields, listening to great music in a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.’

The capacity of the festival, which is now in its ninth year, was extended following the success of last year’s sell-out show by James Blunt.

And organisers expect the event to attract close to a full house, especially at the weekend.

Many people chose to camp rather than drive home last night.

They included mother-and-son Jan and George Deluchi, from Cosham.

It is the first time at the festival for the pair, who are also working as stewards over the four days.

George, 21, who works at Nats in Whiteley, said: ‘It’s our first time here but hopefully the sun will be shining and it’ll be a great weekend.

‘It seems really good so far.’

Jan, a driver for Aqua Cars, said: ‘It looks great.’

Each day will see music start at midday across three stages.

Acts Billy Bragg, Show of Hands and The South (formerly The Beautiful South) will be headlining the main stage tonight.

Tomorrow will see The Proclaimers and Seth Lakeman top of the bill and on Sunday, 10cc and Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel will be performing.

Tickets are £50 for the day for adults, under-16s £25 and under-10s free. Evening tickets (from 6pm) cost £35 adults and £17.50 under-16s.

To buy go to ticketsouth.co.uk or call (023) 8071 1818. Tickets are available on the gate, cash only. For more on the festival go to wickhamfestival.co.uk/

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