Wettest July for 93 years impacts upon UK festival calendar14 August 2007
UK: Fflam and Truck were among the music festivals forced to change their plans during what is now thought to have been the wettest July in the UK since 1914. Britannia Row, Tiger Hire and Beat Audio were among the PA suppliers affected by festival cancellation or postponement, writes David Davies.
Billed in some quarters as an event that might eventually provide Wales with an equivalent of Scotland’s T in the Park, Fflam – which was to have been held in Swansea Bay on July 13th to 15th – was cancelled outright due to poor weather. Britannia Row was to have supplied the main and rock stages at the Straight Music-promoted event, with an unconfirmed local PA company handling the other stages.
“We put a lot of effort into developing what we think is a good brand,” Straight Music’s John Marsh tells PSN-e. “We do hope to return in 2008.”
Meanwhile, Robert Nisnet, Tiger Hire, Beat Audio and Expression Events were among the audio and/or lighting suppliers affected by the decision to postpone the Truck Festival to September 22nd/23rd due to extensive flooding in the event’s home of Steventon, Oxfordshire. However, some quick thinking resulted in a replacement indoors event being held nearby.
Speaking to PSN-e, Truck production co-ordinator Joe Bennett praises suppliers and crew for demonstrating “great flexibility and commitment to the Truck cause by turning a flood disaster in Steventon into a memorable weekend of two all-day concerts at Oxford Brookes Student Union, all at less than 12 hours’ notice. Suppliers were generous in their discounts to us in light of the flood, and we’re moving forward confidently with the rescheduled event in September.”
Fortunately, higher-capacity July events such as T in the Park, Guilfest, Latitude and Womad went ahead as planned, with a number posting increased year-on-year attendances to register their highest-ever totals. This is despite fears in the live industry that, with over 22 festivals and one-day events taking place in July alone, the UK summer live music scene is now oversaturated.