Norfolk

Houghton Festival cancelled over bad weather fears

Houghton Festival Image copyright Houghton Festival/YouTube
Image caption Thousands of festival-goers were expected in Norfolk this weekend

A second major music festival has been cancelled because of bad weather fears.

Houghton Festival, due to run throughout the weekend at Houghton Hall near King's Lynn, Norfolk, attracts up to 10,000 fans.

Organisers of the electronic music event said it was an "almost impossible decision" to take, and festival-goers would be contacted about refunds later.

Cornwall's Boardmasters festival was cancelled on Wednesday over fears of weekend thunderstorms and heavy rain.

The 2019 festival would have been the third season of the event held in the grounds of the stately home.

Acts due to perform at the event, which had a 24-hour licence for music round the clock, included Ricardo Villalobos, Four Tet, Shanti Celeste and Derrick Carter.

In a statement on the festival website, organisers said conditions had "dramatically worsened" and would deteriorate further into the weekend, with gusts of more than 50mph (80km/h), leading to the event's cancellation on safety grounds.

Image copyright Houghton Festival/YouTube
Image caption The festival was due to be held in the grounds of Houghton Hall

"We are utterly devastated. All the hard work, love and creativity that has gone into planning and producing this year's event made this an almost impossible decision to make," they said.

"This was set to be a wonderful weekend and the boldest step we have ever taken as a festival. However, nothing is more important than the safety of our customers, staff and performers, which would be compromised if we were to go ahead."

They said information on refunds would be made available later, and advised ticket-holders not to travel to the site.

'Really disappointing'

Mimi Aynsley had booked a coach to the festival with about 20 friends, and was at the festival gates when they heard the news.

"A man came on to the coach and told us it had been cancelled - we all thought he was joking," said the 23-year-old from north London.

"It's really hard not to be annoyed about it. It's really quite warm outside... We want the weather to be bad tomorrow just so there's a reason for it to be cancelled."

Jess Perillo, who lives in nearby Downham Market, was going to work on a bar at the festival.

"It was going to fund the rest of my summer and get me money to go to uni in September. Now that's fallen through, so it's really disappointing," she said.

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