Music fans have a muddy good time at 10th anniversary of Butserfest

People enjoying the music at Butserfest 2016 at Queen Elizabeth Country Park Picture: Habibur Rahman
People enjoying the music at Butserfest 2016 at Queen Elizabeth Country Park Picture: Habibur Rahman
  • Mallory Knox headlined milestone year for booze-free festival in Petersfield
  • Young Guns, The Qemists and Creeper also played at a muddy Queen Elizabeth Country Park
  • 3,000 music fans of all ages smash attendance records
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YOUTH-ORIENTED music festival Butserfest welcomed record crowds for its 10th anniversary on Saturday.

Nearly 3,000 fans braved the rain and mud at Queen Elizabeth Country Park on the South Downs for the one-day event, which is famously drug and alcohol-free.

Alt-rockers Mallory Knox headlined the Main Stage alongside Young Guns, The Qemists and As It Is.

Mallory Knox frontman Mikey Chapman says the festival has been supportive in allowing the band to ‘go from strength to strength’.

He said: ‘It’s awesome to be headlining, Butserfest has always been really good to us.

‘We’ve been here three times now, and every time we’ve managed to progress and hone and craft ourselves as each summer goes by.’

Mallory Knox capped off the touring cycle for their second album, Asymmetry, with a career-spanning set packed with hits including Shout At The Moon and Lighthouse.

Mikey said: ‘It’s a really nice moment of reflection for us, and a really great point of understanding where we’ve come from, particularly starting early on with Butserfest a few years ago, and coming to this point now.’

East Hampshire District Council leader Ferris Cowper founded Butserfest in 2007, and called the 10th anniversary of the event the ‘proudest moment’ of his brainchild.

He said: ‘We’ve been through hell and high water to get to this point. When you look at Saturday, it rained and nevertheless there’s the best part of 3,000 people out there having a huge amount of fun.’

Southampton punk band Creeper packed out the Crossroads Stage for their headline slot, which also hosted the likes of Blood Youth and Casey.

Due to adverse weather, the festival’s Introducing Stage had to be closed, but organisers still found time for some of the local talent to perform sets in the Acoustic Shack.

Cllr Cowper said: ‘I really want to encourage local music at Butserfest.

‘I can’t bring myself to contemplate the end of live music in this area, so let’s do what we can to stimulate and promote live music.’

Jack Belcher, 17, from Waterlooville, returned as a punter for his third time this year. He said: ‘There’s a different vibe to most other festivals.

‘Because it’s quite a small event, you get a lot of underground bands that you don’t usually see.’

Sands Nossent-Feist, from Southsea, bonded over great music with her 18-year-old daughter, Janeen Farrow.

She said: ‘We go to festivals together any way but this is great – it’s our day out together! It’s really great for kids to come to on their own, because I know how safe it is.’