Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Low turnout for festival blamed on cold weather

ONLY about 100 people attended the third annual Wargrave Rocks! festival on Saturday.

ONLY about 100 people attended the third annual Wargrave Rocks! festival on Saturday.

Organisers blamed the chilly temperatures for the attendance figure, which was about a third of the size of the crowd at last year’s charity music festival.

However, they said those who did go had a great time and the event was still a success in raising money for Camp Mohawk.

Eight acts performed at the Piggott School. Rockchoir and the Bullfrog Band returned after successful sets last year, while six-piece The People’s Front of Judea proved a hit with their blend of music and comedy.

The other acts were Fully Twisted, Totie Southwell, Bourne Again Shadows, Dirty Rocking Scoundrels and Ryewolf.

Bob Austen, a member of the Friends of Camp Mohawk, who compered the event, said: “It was quite cold and overcast, so visitor numbers were not as good as we had hoped for. There were probably about 100 people on the day and undoubtedly the weather played a part in that. It was chilly and cloudy, not the sort of day when people come along and lounge around in the sun.

“The main thing was that it was a great day for everybody who was there. The music was fantastic and the atmosphere was so happy and cheerful.

“The bands were just amazing, there was such a wide contrast. We had some really good blues bands, a fabulous folk group and a couple of good heavy metal bands. The People’s Front of Judea were particularly popular as they had a bit of comedy too.”

He said the event’s proceeds were unlikely to match the £3,000 made last year but he was hopeful of “a reasonable profit”. Mr Austen said: “The money raised will allow Camp Mohawk to put on more facilities for the day centre and will also give them more financial security.”

Southwell, a singer-songwriter, said: “It was really good fun and a great place to perform. The crowd were a bit quiet when I was on but I was only the second act so I’m sure it picked up.

“Everyone was really supportive though and it was a lovely atmosphere. I would love to come back next year.”

As well as the music, the festival had clowns, puppets, a bouncy castle and face-painting to entertain the children, while Owen Mayes of Owen’s Animals brought along critters, including a royal python called Eric.

There was also a licensed bar, hog roast and other stalls selling food and drink throughout the day.

The festival was established in 2011 to raise money for Camp Mohawk, a day centre near Wargrave which caters for children with special needs and conditions such as autism.

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