THE HEADLINE act may have changed but you won’t have to walk 500 miles for great entertainment this weekend as a popular festival kicks off this evening on a Meon Valley farm.
This year’s Wickham Festival promises to be a belter with Fisherman's Friends, The Saw Doctors, Show of Hands and former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure all getting prime slots over the weekend.
There's been a late change to the schedule as Grammy-nominated American blues singer and guitarist Eric Bibb will now be headlining on Saturday as the Proclaimers have been forced to pull out due to illness.
There’s definitely a Scottish feel to this year’s line-up with Gaelic folk-rockers Skerryvore and Peat and Diesel (go see) appearing in succession on Sunday evening.
The festival is one of the most family-friendly in the UK and is spread over several fields surrounding Westlands Farm. There are four stages but it’s not all about music as the varied programme includes children’s entertainment, a silent disco, funfair and late night comedy.
Revellers who discover their inner musician will also get a warm welcome in The Magic Teapot with impromptu performances in the acoustic, fireside venue being encouraged.
Organisers will be hard pressed to top last year’s festival as the sun-kissed event boasted a line-up including The Levellers, Undertones, 10cc and Waterboys among others.
And while the focus is slightly on folk there’s always a few eyebrow-raisers with The Zombies and Afro Celt Sound System being cases in point on Sunday.
The fun begins at 5pm today (Thursday).
A range of packages are available but early bird weekend tickets are £220 with camping places available from £35. Day tickets start at £65 for adults with reductions available for carers. For more details visit www.wickhamfestival.co.uk