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.

Archives by year

  • 2020 (11)
  • 2019 (25)
  • 2018 (25)
  • 2017 (27)
  • 2016 (23)
  • 2015 (19)
  • 2014 (2)
  • Facebook Posts

    Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

    Looking forward to seeing Mummers again at Wickham 2021. What are you most looking forward to seeing at our Festival next August? ... See MoreSee Less

    Looking forward to seeing Mummers again at Wickham 2021.  What are you most looking forward to seeing at our Festival next August?

    Comment on Facebook Looking forward to ...

    Oh crikey, I gotta buy a new chair, the last one collapsed under the weight of pure joy 🥰

    Maybe The Undertones or The Members

    Armaleggan 😊

    The entrance.

    Peter Courts I can see you in that costume pete lol

    Whitefake live...

    Looking forward to everything, seeing old friends, fixing our ‘regulars’, new friends & folk to help, surrounded by fab music & a brilliant vibe 🙏 🤞for normality

    Looking forward to meeting all my friends I only get to see once a year as we spend the weekend volunteering as Stewards 😁😁

    Me ! I’m looking forward to seeing Me at your fabulous festival next year xxx

    Live music, friends, a festival and carefree happy people .

    Sitting outside listening to music. Lockdown has meant we have missed live music.

    Just want there to be a festival - I’ll be there whatever the line up!

    You have the most amazing line up, and I think breakfast wine is also something I particularly enjoy at Wickham ;-)

    Other like minded folks!

    People enjoying themselves!!

    Really looking forward to live music, the atmosphere and just being there.

    Just being there 🌞🍷🎶🎵🎪

    Dhol foundation 🎶

    The amazing crew that make it happen 🥰

    Big Rory and Ochie for me x

    SAS Band 👍

    The Scottish wolfhound and The Hobbits.

    Beardy folk festival took place in Sept with limited numbers and spacing.

    A festival!

    My friends enjoying themselves again 💕

    View more comments

    We're very sorry to hear that Gordon Haskell who performed at our 2019 Wickham Festival has sadly passed away. R.I.P. Gordon. www.facebook.com/GordonHaskellOfficial/posts/1733222096829629It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Gordon, a great musician and a wonderful person who will be sadly missed by so many. ... See MoreSee Less

    Were very sorry to hear that Gordon Haskell who performed at our 2019 Wickham Festival has sadly passed away.  R.I.P. Gordon.  https://www.facebook.com/GordonHaskellOfficial/posts/1733222096829629

    Comment on Facebook It is with great ...

    😢 Sad day

    Sad news

    Jai ho!!!! I’m shantihi shantihi shantihi...

    Very sad - am glad to have had the pleasure of seeing him last year at the festival x

    RIP Gordon, great to see you at Wickham last year.. sad times.

    Raise a glass in ‘Harry’s Bars’ everywhere 🥃😥

    Sad news. He have us some great music.

    Very sorry to hear this. God bless.

    Sad news, RIP Mr Haskell 💜

    Such Sad news, loved his gravelly voice and humor 😥

    Very sad RIP.

    Sad news. Enjoyed his set at Wickham very much.

    Sad news .RIP Gordon

    RIP

    RIP xx😥🌠

    😥

    Sad news, he was fabulous last year at Wickham

    R I P Cheers Great Guy Privaledge to hear you live at Wickham

    R I p

    View more comments

    If you missed the live stream concert by our Wickham Festival compere Alistair Russell on Thursday night, you can watch it over the next few days via this link: m.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR0oqt8NFsqm-0LUdEtF6MoUhss8orvozATUAs-vxHVUN-ecMQBq13pR09M&feature=... ... See MoreSee Less

    Video image

    Comment on Facebook A Falcon House ...

    Our Main Stage compere Alistair Russell has his first ever live online concert tonight Thursday October 15th from 7.30pm!

    Tune in to the livestream event by clicking on the concert link:
    www.youtube.com/user/Tulip0852/live...

    If the live show timing is inconvenient for you, an edited version will come available soon after the event by following falconaudiovisualarts.co.uk.

    Considerable investment of time and money is involved in this, so please contribute what you can to Alistair via this link, which will also appear on screen: paypal.me/tulip0852 (no paypal account required).

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JRlPeG_SGA
    ... See MoreSee Less

    Video image

    Comment on Facebook The compere for the ...

    Alistair has and is, such a great asset to Wickham Festival. 👏👏👏🎶

    When and where is the next Wickham Fest?

    Please visit the live stream for the next 48 hours by fillowing this link: www.facebook.com/alistair.russell.31/posts/4047387655274866

    Show of Hands + Johnny Kalsi, 'The Secret Garden Concert PT.II', streaming this Sunday, 11th October @ 7.30pm. Free to view but donations welcome. Preview & details, please click on this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdGSTGGK0s4&feature=youtu.be ... See MoreSee Less

    Video image

    Comment on Facebook Streaming here this ...

    Richard Hall Sue Hall

    Well- needs to be viewed! Thank you xx

    Load more

    Our Twitter Feed