Wickham Festival organiser Peter Chegwyn has hailed this year’s record-breaking event as the best yet.
Box office records were smashed with more than 25,000 people flocking to the picturesque site to see the Proclaimers, 10cc, Billy Bragg and 80 other acts over four gloriously sunny days.
The hot weather saw fans drink the site dry with beer running out just before last orders on the final night – and the event has already received a record number of bookings for next year.
Chegwyn said: “This has been a record-breaking festival in every sense. It has easily been our best year – the question now is how do we top it?
“We have broken all box office records, the traders did great business, we have record renewals for next year and we even drank the bar dry – and yet there was still not a hint of trouble or rowdy behaviour.
“This is the most successful festival I have run in 25 years. The new VIP area was a big success and all the car parks and campsites were full. It has truly been a bumper year.
“We have had a fantastic reaction from the fans. We have had huge crowds and they have loved it. Once again, we have had no crime and no problems.
“People must have enjoyed it because so many have already booked for next year before they even know the line-up. But they know the atmosphere will be just as good and they trust us to have a good bill.
“That is a real vote of confidence but it is the reason why fans come back year after year. For many people it is the highlight of their year and from my point of view it is wonderful to see so many smiling faces.”
Rock legend Tom Robinson said: “It has been a fantastic festival and I am delighted for Peter Chegwyn who is truly a legend in this area. He is a one-off and people are very lucky to have him.
“The atmosphere here is wonderful and the reaction from the fans was amazing. I was quite moved by it.”
Craig Reid from the Proclaimers added: “This is the third time we have been to this event and we love it. It has a great feel about the place and people just have the best time.”
Steve Harley raised the canvas of the Big Top with a rousing version of Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) and said: “That was a fantastic reaction from the fans, definitely one of the best. They really got it and it is a wonderful feeling to see them respond in that way.”
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The event was also good for the village with business booming as fans stocked up with supplies or sampled the local wares.
Chegwyn added: “This festival has really put Wickham on the map. Now we are becoming well known we have top acts asking to play here rather than us chasing them.
“And it has been great for business locally. The site is perfectly placed because it is in a picturesque rural setting yet just 10 minutes walk from the pretty village so the shops have done a roaring trade.
“Wickham is the little village with big ideas and we have had a lot of positive feedback from people all around the world. We pride ourselves on our friendly, family feel – and once again we have delivered.”
Tickets are now on sale for the 2016 Wickham Festival priced just £100 for a weekend ticket, (a saving of £50 if booked before the end of August) from The Festival Office, 51 Russell Street, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 3JD. (Cheques payable to ‘Wickham Festivals Ltd’. Please enclose an s.a.e.). Or click here