New Wine Festival Cut Short

CFI’s team for staffing the bookstall during Week 2 of the New Wine festival have returned to Eastbourne this weekend after the early closure of the event in Peterborough.

The CFI bookstall at New Wine 2019
The CFI bookstall at New Wine 2019

Last Thursday evening the organisers decided to close the festival on Friday morning rather than Saturday evening as scheduled. That decision was made in response to warnings of adverse weather conditions over the weekend, including heavy rain and high winds. They issued a statement saying:

“The decision has been made with advice from the local authorities,
the showground and the production crew with the safety of all on site and
on your homeward journeys as our first priority.”

The bad weather was so widespread that many other events had to be cancelled over the weekend, including the Boardmasters music festival in Newquay, Cornwall, and the Houghton Festival that was due to take place from Thursday to Monday at Houghton Hall in Norfolk.

The early closure of New Wine was obviously a disappointment to CFI’s team. Especially as we had just enjoyed increased interest in the stall during the course of Thursday, including a substantial number of useful conversations with visitors and with other stall holders.

However, the need to prioritise people’s safety was clear and the main concern was the predicted wind speeds on Saturday, which the Met Office likened to winter conditions rather than summer. Their chief Meteorologist Steve Ramsdale was quoted as saying:

“There’s a lot of outdoor events as well, with temporary structures
which are not necessarily able to withstand this level of wind.”