Final day of Wickham Festival ends in a blaze of summery glory
IT was the best and biggest year yet for Wickham Festival, and it ended on a high note.
Folk rock legends Lindisfarne took to the All Time Grates stage last night to give the crowd one last hurrah.
They showed that they were still going strong after nearly 50 years on the scene, with hits like Fog On The Tyne and Meet Me On The Corner drawing a massive response.
Founding Lindisfarne member Rod Clements said: ‘It was great to headline the final night. And seeing all of the other bands, especially Hayseed Dixie.
‘We hope that the people heard some great songs and that we gave them a great time.’
Organiser Peter Chegwyn believes that the future is bright for small festivals like Wickham which offer patrons an ‘intimate, relaxed and safe’ atmosphere.
He said: ‘It’s been absolutely fantastic and we’ve been blessed with glorious weather and great crowds all weekend.
‘All the feedback has been terrific – there’s a very positive feeling and there’s been no problems at all.’
Martin Matthews, of Lovedean, said: ‘It’s been very mellow and nice and clean. This is how England should be.
‘It’s my first time here but I’ll be back next year.’
Kerry Bailey, of Wickham, said: ‘Every year it’s just the right balance of big names and new acts that I can dance to and enjoy in the sunshine.’
Lauren Ingram, of Gosport, said: ‘We just came to enjoy the camping, the music and the cider. It’s been so friendly.’
Performing last night, Hayseed Dixie brought their unique blend of ‘rockgrass’ and bags of good humour to the big top, alongside national treasures Steeleye Span.
Kent-based pop quintet Keston Cobblers Club closed the Wildlife Stage with a quirky set.
Meanwhile, Southampton singer-songwriter Daniel Eagle waved the flag for local talent as he headlined the Quay West Cave.
The Stranglers, Tony Hadley, The SAS Band, Chas & Dave, The Trevor Horn Band and Eddi Reader were also amongst the countless artists who performed across four stages over four days.
More than 7,000 festival-goers turned up to the site this year, making it another record-breaking year for the event.
Preparations for the 2017 incarnation of Wickham have already begun, and festival boss Mr Chegwyn is showing as much enthusiasm for the future as he does for the last few days.
He said: ‘There’s actually not much that we can improve.
‘Why change a winning formula?’