Wickham Festival gets off to delayed start amid muddy conditions

Wickham Festival 2017. Picture: Millie Salkeld
Wickham Festival 2017. Picture: Millie Salkeld
The M27. Picture: Google Street View

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THICK mud brought on by heavy rain sparked long delays to the opening night of Wickham Festival.

As music lovers arrived ready up for a night of fun, they were greeted by two-hour delays at the festival’s entrance.

Wickham Festival organiser Peter Chegwyn. Picture: Millie Salkeld

Wickham Festival organiser Peter Chegwyn. Picture: Millie Salkeld

Troublesome mud which had formed after last night’s heavy rainfall was the culprit – with organisers splashing out £30,000 on last-minute efforts to get the grounds festival-ready.

While gates were scheduled to open to visitors at 4pm, some fans faced delays of up to two hours, as a team of tractors laid straw to soak up the mud on site.

Despite the disturbance, Wickham Festival organiser Peter Chegwyn, said: ‘We did everything possible to prepare for this festival.

‘Sadly there is bound to be a problem when you get three inches of rain in 12 hours.

‘We’ve spent £30,000 today to get tractors, extra staff, straw and traffic operators in place to tackle the issue.

‘I have run festivals for 25 years but I have never seen anything like we have had to put up with here.

‘However, we’ve got the show on when frankly I don’t think many other festivals would have.

‘I would like to thank everyone for their patience and I look forward to a fantastic weekend.’

In a statement shared to Wickham Festival’s Facebook and Twitter pages this afternoon, a spokesperson said: ‘We have five tractors working flat out to get people in ASAP.

‘Please follow the signs and when walking to the festival...Please wait for the engineer controlling the lights to stop all traffic so pedestrians can cross safely.

‘Thank you for your patience and sorry for the delays resulting from yesterday’s torrential downpours.’

Artists KT Tunstall and 10cc are set to perform headline shows at the festival later this evening.