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13 November 2014

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You are in: Somerset > Entertainment and Leisure > Art, Films and Television > Sunrise festival springs to life

Flooded 2008 Sunrise festival

Sunrise 2008 was ruined by flash floods

Sunrise festival springs to life

Free springwater and locally sourced food, hot tubs and solar sounds like the sort of luxuries you'd expect at a posh country retreat, but they will in fact be available at the Sunrise Festival in May 2009.

Flash flooding last year caused the event to be cancelled at the last minute leaving people stranded in muddy fields for hours and others arriving at the site not knowing it had been called off at the last minute.

Now the organisers have taken a different approach for 2009.

Katherine Ritchie, press officer at Sunrise said: "What we've done in past years is gone bigger. For this year we decided we wanted to go back down to our roots again and be a bit smaller and more family focused so we decided to do two events, with the second one being really focused on being based on renewable power sources and energy efficiency."

The festival is also staying true to its eco-credentials, by holding an ethical fashion show, as well as a clothes swap.

Tickets will only be available in advance and not on the gate anymore to prevent traffic clogging up access to the festival ground, which caused a lot of traffic build-up on routes leading to the site.

"We don't want lots of people turning up on the gate to buy their tickets that's for a number of reasons to do with the county council and police because access for the site is not great so we've got to focus ourselves on traffic management."

'More organic'

The problems encountered last year meant that the company itself was struggling to make ends meet but thanks to the deal struck with The Big Chill festival, tickets could be swapped with Sunrise tickets.

"We're a new company now called Natural Communities, moving away from the monetary focus system into something that's more organic and flows more freely and is more in tune with what we want to achieve.

"It was very difficult financially because of last year. The Big Chill helped a lot because we got to swap a lot of tickets and I think we've done quite well and honoured all of our ticket swaps.

"There was a Big Chill last year, a lot of people have swapped to Sunrise this year, or upgraded for later on in the season so we're quite pleased we've managed to achieve that."

However there is one factor that no-one can control - the weather.

"The land is quite high up, there won't be problems with drainage on the site. It's quite good and we've placed everything in a way so that any water that does fall will drain off into an empty field so that is one thing that we have thought out very well this year."

This year's event will be held from 28 - 31 May 2009, while the second Sunrise event, Sunrise off-grid will run from 20 - 23 August 2009.

last updated: 17/04/2009 at 11:51
created: 17/04/2009

You are in: Somerset > Entertainment and Leisure > Art, Films and Television > Sunrise festival springs to life

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