Festival site gets ready for big event
Emily DennisThere was a hive of activity at Henham Park yesterday as festival organisers and workers made last minute preparations at the site.Emily Dennis
There was a hive of activity at Henham Park yesterday as festival organisers and workers made last minute preparations at the site.
The stages were up, the compostable toilets had arrived and colourful flags were blowing in the breeze as I took a tour of the festival grounds.
Festival founder Melvin Benn said that tickets for the event are expected to sell out today and urged those without tickets to stay away.
He said there had been security improvements at the site this year including a 10ft solid perimeter fence which has been put up to protect campers who have paid to enjoy the festival.
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Mr Benn said that he was delighted with the success of the festival and added that it gives a real boost to the local economy.
'You cannot get a B&B in the area,' he said. 'They are completely and utterly sold out and not just for the day as there has been a lot of too-ing and fro-ing before hand.
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'A lot of people see it as an opportunity to come down here and camp for the weekend,' he added. 'They quite often head down to Southwold and go to the beach in the morning before coming back to the festival in the afternoon; almost like a little holiday.'
Mr Benn said that the festival had been described as the 'thinking person's Glastonbury,' a tag which he thought suited the event.
'Where else would you get Vivienne Westwood talking about fashion? Although in reality I suspect she will be talking about climate change,' he said.
'It is an arts festival - there is no question of that. It is about more than just music.'
Mr Benn said the success of the festival was partly due to the unique nature and breadth of the programme, with literature, poetry and theatre being seen as important as the music.
He added: 'The uniqueness of the site is also very important. People adore being here; they are blown away by the beauty of the place and the other thing is that it fits in with the local ambience.'