Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Boomtown Fair: Organisers get green light for five-day event

Boomtown Fair Image copyright Jody Hartley
Image caption A revised application for 60,000 festival-goers has been approved

A music festival has been given the go-ahead to add an extra day to this year's event.

Organisers of the Boomtown Fair near Winchester dropped plans to expand its capacity by a third last month.

A revised application for 60,000 festival-goers and extending the event to five days has been approved by Winchester City Council.

Organisers welcomed the decision but said the changes were dependent on a separate planning application.

They said they were preparing an application to the South Downs National Park Authority.

Festival-goers faced long delays getting into the event in August 2017 because of technical problems.

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Organisers initially signalled they wanted to raise attendance numbers from 60,000 to 80,000 but residents living nearby raised concerns about the impact on transport.

'Ease congestion'

Following discussions with Hampshire Police, capacity was revised back to 60,000 along with additional staff, artists and guests.

Organisers also said an additional 1,000 tickets would be provided for local residents.

Image copyright Scott M Salt
Image caption The 2018 event is due to take place on 8-12 August, with Gorillaz already named as headliners

The licensing sub-committee report said: "The addition of Wednesday will spread arrival times and ease congestion at the start of the festival and is likely to contribute to more festival-goers leaving on Sunday rather than Monday.

"It will also assist with the prevention of crime and disorder objectives."

Some people reported fights, fainting and sunburn as they faced long delays entering last year's festival, with organisers blaming a technical glitch with the wristband system.

They were also increased searches and delays opening gates to the site because of bad weather.

Eighty-two cars were destroyed when a lit cigarette ignited grass stubble in a car park at the festival in 2016.

The 2018 event is due to take place on 8-12 August, with Gorillaz already named as headliners.

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