Eddi Reader wowed the crowd with a beautiful rendition of her classic hit “It’s got to be Perfect.”
Day Two might not quite have been perfect – but the fact it was so close spoke volumes for the determination of the organisers.
With the main stage still out of action, it mean another hasty re-jig to move artists into the Big Top or the Quay West marquee.
It was a seamless transition with a fantastic atmosphere around the site as the sun shone, the arena dried out and the smiles lit up this picturesque setting.
Organiser Peter Chegwyn said: “We are so proud that we managed to get this festival on despite the adversity. We had to overcome the pandemic, the weather and being let down over the main stage – but cancelling was never an option.
“Covid meant we opted for an open-air main stage and the people providing it have let us down big-time. It is genuinely not our fault. We had a contract for them to finish construction by 5pm on Tuesday and they did not deliver.
“I can sort most problems, even in bad weather. We can put down straw or bring in tractors but I can’t build a stage. So we either had to cancel or adapt – and we went ahead.
“We have always said the show will go on and this year proves that. We owe it to all our ticket-holders… to all the artists, caterers and traders many of whom have not worked in over a year.
“Most people are just glad we have managed to get the festival on so they can watch live music once again and it is wonderful to see so many smiling faces and to hear so many positive comments.”
One bonus of shuffling the schedule is that it removed the clash between two hugely popular Friends of the Festival. Originally Show of Hands and the Dhol Foundation were due to be playing at the same time on separate stages.
The new running order not only meant they not only both played the Big Top stage but they were able to team up!
It was a special moment for fans to see Johnny Kalsi and Steve Knightley combine two very different art forms!
And there was another off-the cuff treat as Eddi Reader had an impromptu dance with a roadie during her tribute to Amy Winehouse during her delightful set.
Over on the Quay West Stage, Peat and Diesel showed why they are forging such a strong reputation with a rousing set followed by Manran who closed the evening in style.
Now fans can look forward to a real treat with rock legend Van Morrison headlining Saturday night at Wickham.
Deacon Blue will close the evening with Nick Lowe and Set Lakeman and many others also providing real treats for the fans.
The Main Stage will again be out of action on Saturday. This is the new running order…
12.50-13.30 Young ‘uns
13.50-14.50 Nick Parker
15.10-16.10 Moya Brennan
16.30-17.45 Seth Lakeman
18.00-19.00 Nick Lowe
19.30-21.00 Van Morrison
21.30-23.00 Deacon Blue
12.00-12.45 Chris Ricketts
13.00-13.45 Chris Wood
14.00-14.45 Alistair Goodwin Band
15.00-16.00 Martin Simpson
16.10-16.50 Hattie Hatstar
16.55-17.55 Dhol Foundation (DJ Set)
19.15-20.00 Sad Palace
20.30-21.30 Eliza Carthy & the Restitute Band
22.00-23.00 Merry Hell