Wickham Festival News

Wickham Festival organisers unhappy with lack of Government guidance

Wickham Festival organisers have hit out at the Government after being forced to postpone next month’s event.

The hugely popular showpiece – scheduled for August 6-9 – has now been put back to next year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It had been hoped a scaled-down version might have been possible and contingency plans were drawn up to enable full social distancing.

Although these met current legal requirements, lack of government guidance has made it impossible to go ahead according to organiser Peter Chegwyn.

He said: “We have delayed making the decision in the hope that the government would issue some clear guidelines and we were very close to getting it on.

“But unfortunately the lack of clarity and a coherent strategy from Westminster means we have been forced to cancel which will cost the Wickham area around £1m in lost revenue.

“The Government have said that concert halls can re-open – but they can’t stage concerts! That is like saying pubs can re-open but not serve any alcohol! It sums up how vague and contradictory the policies are.

“They have said there should be no live performances to a live audience indoors but it is not clear whether that also applies outdoors.

“We could have got rid of our traditional big tops to have an entirely outdoor event and we have been advised that would have met current criteria. But we just don’t know if that would be within whatever guidelines are dreamed up for the first week in August.

“The government keep promising clarity but have failed to deliver guidelines promised on June 13. We have delayed a decision for months; we just can’t wait any longer.

“We are absolutely gutted to have to delay but the government have made it impossible to go ahead with any certainty. We could not risk having everything in place and then having to cancel at the very last minute.

“It is desperately sad not just for the thousands who had bought tickets but also for local businesses such as shops, hotels, lighting, staging, catering, breweries, landowners and more. They will lose a lot of money as a result.

“Boris Johnson says he wants to open up the economy and we were ready to help but unfortunately it has proved impossible to stage the festival this year.

“Instead the entire programme, including our main headliner Van Morrison, will roll over to next year. Tickets will still be valid and we hope to see everyone back here for a huge party. We will make it our biggest and best event yet to make up for this year’s disappointment.”

Those unable to make the August 5-8 dates in 2021 will be able to get a refund with details being announced shortly.

Spike Edney, Graham Gouldman, Steve Harley, Tom Robinson, Toyah, and Madeline Bell.

Chegwyn added: “We have a very loyal following and many have already told us they will keep hold of their tickets, especially those who bought at a discount rate before our headliners were announced.

“We have a fantastic line-up with Van Morrison being joined by the Waterboys, Leo Sayer, The South, Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets, the SAS Band starring Wickham favourites Tom Robinson, Toyah, Steve Harley, Graham Gouldman and many more.

“The strength of this festival is the family feel and the relaxed environment from the laid-back atmosphere to the welcoming nature of the village. We have taken on board feedback from ticket-holders and residents and by next year we will be ready for a big party!”

Listen to organiser Peter Chegwyn on BBC Radio Solent here. Rewind to 8.07am, Thursday July 2, 2020.

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    We're looking forward to welcoming Van Morrison to Wickham on Saturday 7th August 2021. Tickets selling fast.
    www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVk1BGbT3x4
    ... See MoreSee Less

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    Comment on Facebook

    Snooze.. but Slambovian Circus of Dreams !!!!! Wowser,, good call Pete XX !!!!!

    I was sad to see that Van Morrison has written ‘protest’ songs accusing scientists of publishing ‘crooked facts’ etc. Protest songs used to be about equality, justice, racism etc, Not spreading false conspiracy stories because you’re fed up that some of your concerts had to be cancelled to prevent the spread of a dangerous virus in a pandemic. It would have been fine to have written his protests about governments failing to provide support for Music and The Arts and generally to help the poorest people to stay at home , and to self isolate when ill. But not publicising fake conspiracy stories about Covid-19 to justify his complaints against measures to protect the UK from a disease. Hopefully he will realise his error of judgement now that his 4 latest songs are on Variety list of 12 worst songs of 2020! downatthecrossroads.wordpress.com/2020/09/19/van-morrison-conspiracy-theories-and-protest-songs/amp/

    Voted the UK's Best Small Festival. Safe, relaxed & friendly. The ideal summer staycation! Save £40 on 4-day weekend season tickets if you book now. www.wickhamfestival.co.uk ... See MoreSee Less

    Voted the UKs Best Small Festival.  Safe, relaxed & friendly.  The ideal summer staycation!  Save £40 on 4-day weekend season tickets if you book now.  www.wickhamfestival.co.uk

    Comment on Facebook

    Looking forward to this, great festival and line up.

    Great line up 😊

    Great work Wickham - see you in the summer!

    Literally cannot wait!

    Great line up!

    Not forgetting The Slambovian Circus of Dreams from New York State? (www.slambovia.com)

    Steve Bissell I saw Lindisfarne in 1972. I guess you were about ten then!

    I like Van Morrison! 😁

    Sam Jefferies I wanna go to this if I'm not gigging myself. I've seen Van Morrison live very good. Also it's on around my birthday

    Will you have the 2 metre distancing rule in place???

    Gemma Noakes shall we get tickets?

    John Otway blimey, last time I saw him I was 18.. (60 now)

    Got tickets🥳

    Wickham has a great line-up this year.

    Love Van the Man. Saw him many years ago at the Rainbow Theatre in London. Fab ! It's a great line up too.

    Something to look forward to😎

    Wow! Van Morrison, The Waterboys AND Nick Lowe. Bring it on 😃😃😃

    What are weekend season tickets?

    Looks fabulous

    and amazing The Slambovian Circus of Dreams !! good call Peter !!!

    Can't wait.

    Nick Lowe 😊👍

    Rhonda Eaton Magdalena Olszyk why is everything in bloody August 😂😂😂

    Steve Smith . Still looking likely! Or am I Utterly delusional?

    Ann, have you ever been to this one?

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    Great to see outdoor beer gardens opening. Won't be long before we can raise a glass on our Wickham Festival fields again. Less than four months to go, tickets selling fast 😃 www.wickhamfestival.co.uk ... See MoreSee Less

    Great to see outdoor beer gardens opening.  Wont be long before we can raise a glass on our Wickham Festival fields again.  Less than four months to go, tickets selling fast 😃 www.wickhamfestival.co.uk

    Comment on Facebook

    Bought our rhubarb cider direct from Lilleys last year. Bloody lovely

    I’ve arranged a heatwave

    Jayne MW Michael Dickinson Lauren Burton We should do something like this 🤣🤣🤣

    Fab fammily festival

    Can’t wait 🍻

    Salud 😎🍻🎶

    Pam Smart what are we wearing?

    Pauline Whiteman

    Can't wait. So looking forward to it.

    Looking forward to it 1😊

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    Four months today The Waterboys will be bringing this year's Wickham Festival to a rousing finish as they return to Wickham for the first time since 2013. Have you got your tickets yet? They're selling fast! www.wickhamfestival.co.uk www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zEvq5wLHNw ... See MoreSee Less

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    Comment on Facebook

    So looking forward to this 🤩 Received my Tshirt this weekend 😊

    Don’t talk about the finish 😭

    I wish I was a fisherman !

    Can't wait 😊

    Love this tune, great video as well !!!!! 💚💚💚💚💚

    Can't wait!

    Catherine Ellis 👍👍

    Tara Casey , what do you think

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    We're looking forward to welcoming the legendary Van Morrison to this year's Wickham Festival. Plus The Waterboys; Lindisfarne; Capercaillie; Show of Hands; The South; Nick Lowe & many, many more. Tickets selling fast! www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets ... See MoreSee Less

    Were looking forward to welcoming the legendary Van Morrison to this years Wickham Festival.  Plus The Waterboys; Lindisfarne; Capercaillie; Show of Hands; The South; Nick Lowe & many, many more.  Tickets selling fast! www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets

    Comment on Facebook

    Finger crossed that everybody behaves themselves before then so that Wickham can go ahead. Can you tell me when T shirt orders will be shipped out please?

    We r all looking forward to this gig thanks fir putting in such a great lineup

    Got my ticket 🤞🤞🤞

    Can't wait ❤️❤️

    He should’ve had his second jab by then 🤭

    Darran Hibbert

    Marcia

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