Gloucestershire

Greenbelt Festival continues despite thunderstorms

People walking in mud at festival
Image caption Thunderstorms and downpours turned much of the site into a quagmire

The director of a festival that was hit by thunderstorms and heavy rain has said cancelling it was "never an option".

Greenbelt, which has been running for 39 years, has been held at Cheltenham Racecourse every August Bank Holiday weekend, since 1999.

Thunderstorms and downpours turned much of the site into a quagmire.

However, organisers said around 19,400 people attended over the three days, only about 600 fewer than normal.

Vehicle movements on to the site were banned as the weather worsened and lorries had to be used to collect campers' belongings.

'Strict arrangements'

Some traders also packed up early and parts of the camping areas were reported to be knee deep in mud, following thunderstorms on Saturday and heavy downpours on Monday.

Paul Northup, director of the festival, said: "All our festival-goers were safe and secure and we felt we could continue to deliver the programme.

"We have very strict arrangements and agreements with the racecourse about what we can and can't do.

"That has resulted in some areas which we can't intervene too much with.

"We really enjoy our relationship with the racecourse, we want to keep that really on track and so we work along with their ground staff around drainage and all sorts of things."

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