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Rain won't dampen festival thanks to hockey pitch!

James Blunt plays Wickham Festival in the rain Credit: James Blunt

James Blunt will be “pitch perfect” at the Wickham Festival thanks to a unique way of beating the mud.

Recent downpours have made the site soft under foot but organisers will be putting down an artificial hockey pitch to give the 7,000 fans a firm footing.

It has come from Southampton Sports Centre which has just replaced its all-weather surfaces and that has proved a timely bonus for the festival.

We must be the first festival ever to put down a hockey pitch for fans. Instead of getting wet and muddy feet, our festival-goers will now have the most luxurious ground surface of any festival in the UK.

It will also be used backstage to help the likes of James Blunt and our other headliners the Lightning Seeds, Steve Earle and the Dukes plus Bellowhead.

The rain has made the ground quite soggy in places and we were preparing to put down straw when I got the offer of the hockey pitch.

– Peter Chegwyn

Thousands descend on Hampshire town for historic horse fair

Parade of shire horses in the Square Credit: ITV news

The annual Wickham horse fair takes place in Hampshire today. The historic event includes a funfair and parade of horses in the Square. Around 2,000 travellers are expected to attend, with drivers being warned to expect heavy traffic in the area.

It's the biggest and oldest horse fair in the country, with its origin traced back over hundreds of years.

Last year's event was marred by violent scenes but the Police, Winchester City Council, Hampshire County Council, Wickham Parish Council and other agencies are working together to ensure that the fair is enjoyable and takes place with minimum disruption.


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Wickham Festival attracting international names

“We are thrilled to have been able to secure an artist of the calibre of James Blunt.It should be a very special night.

“He is the biggest name to play here since we moved to our new site and it shows just how far this festival has come. It is now established as a major highlight on the Hampshire calendar.

“Even though we are managing to attract this kind of major artist, the beauty of this festival is it retains its family feel and laid-back atmosphere.

“And because the artists perform under a big top, fans do not need to worry about the weather.”

– Peter Chegwyn

Full details of the Festival and how to buy tickets can be found on the Festival website www.wickhamfestival.co.uk or the event's twitter feed @festivalwickham.

James Blunt plays Wickham Festival on World Tour

James Blunt Credit: PA

International superstar James Blunt is set to headline this summer’s Wickham Festival. The singer-songwriter will top the bill on Thursday August 14 as part of his worldwide Moon Landing tour.

The soft rock singer, who has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, shot to fame with his hit single “You are Beautiful” which brought a series of Grammy nominations.

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Traffic warning for horse fair

Horses paraded at the annual fair in Wickham Credit: PA Wire

The Wickham horse fair will take place in The Square on Monday 20, May where horses are bought and sold.

The fair is traditionally run by members of the travelling community who come from across the the country to trade the animals and parade them.

Hampshire Police has warned of the possible traffic disruption that will see several roads in Wickham closed from 5am until 8pm due to crowds and horses.

Permits have been given to residents to allow them to get to their homes through the closures.

Chief Inspector Andy Houghton said: "This event is steeped in history for Wickham and we have been working closely with Hampshire County Council, Winchester City Council, Wickham Parish Council and other agencies to help maintain a safe environment for visitors and residents to enjoy the day."

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