Saturday, 13 August 2022

Encore for Hideaway

ORGANISERS of the first Hideaway music festival have hailed it a success.

ORGANISERS of the first Hideaway music festival have hailed it a success.

Next year’s event could be extended to two days after the demand for Saturday’s festival at the Fawley Hill estate of Sir William and Lady McAlpine exceeded expectations.

About 1,200 people attended the show, which was headlined by the Blockheads and had three stages featuring reggae, ska, jazz and country music.

Performers included Nubiyan Twist, John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett and local acts Megan Henwood, No Direction and Sam Brown and her son Mo Evans.

Other attractions included market stalls, fairground rides and a bar selling real ale. Festival-goers were able to camp overnight.

The festival was organised by businessman Brett Fuller, from Cookley Green, and his friend Nigel Adams, from Christmas Common, who said they received positive feedback from members of the audience.

Mr Fuller said: “Everyone was just so friendly and loved-up as they chatted to each other. We didn’t have one single iota of trouble and we sold a lot more tickets than we had expected.”

About 40 per cent of tickets were sold on the day and Mr Fuller believes even more would have gone if there hadn’t been widespread rain in the surrounding area, even though not a drop fell at the festival. He said: “People were coming from Reading, Checkendon and Watlington where there were torrential downpours so many probably thought about going, then saw the weather and thought, ‘no way’.

“I was quite happy with the numbers, though, as if there had been many more we would have run out of booze!” Festival-goers were of all ages and some had brought their dogs.

Lady McAlpine, who took her five Labradors and pug to listen to the music, said: “The whole day was exactly what we had envisioned.

“Everyone had a lot of fun and that was the important thing. We had a nice crowd, mostly local, and they were very well-behaved, smiley, happy people.”

Lady McAlpine, who spent time collecting litter and even changed the rolls in the portable toilets, is already in discussion with the organisers about repeating the event next year.

She said: “As long as it continues to be small, intimate and family-focused, I would do it again.

“It would lose its character if it got much bigger and would just become like any other festival, which is not what we want.”

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