Wych-would`nt..Festival fail.

Last Thursday saw us embarking on our annual trip to the Wychwood Festival in Cheltenham, and for weeks before we had our eyes fixed to the long term weather forecast. We had decided to get a jump on things this time, and leave early to arrive mid morning to set up and enjoy as much of the festival ambience as possible.

Off we trogged at the ungodly hour of 5am, in order to leave plenty of time for `rest breaks’ and suchlike. Everything was good until it started to rain when we got on the M6. It seemed to get progressively worse, so much so that we missed our turn for the M5, and had to turn around an go back.

However, undaunted, we arrived on site at around 10.30am, with the rain following us all the way.

We were shown to our pitch, which to be fair, was a bit on the cramped up side, with other vehicles taking up a lot of room at the back. Anyway, we got the stall out, and put the roof section together- by now it was getting rather windy- but we soldiered on. Got the legs under, but the thing kept bouncing backwards, so we took the legs back out and dropped it back down, and figured we would wait for the wind to die down, and pitch the tent in the meantime.

Pitching the tent, and suddenly a freak gust of wind caught the stall roof section, and it flew backwards, narrowly missing our van and my head. It was now in pieces, so we took it apart and tried to pitch the tent- thinking we would put the stock in the tent, then kip in the van for the night, and sort things out the next day.

tent taking a battering, even with the car in front as a windbreak.Mud getting squidgier!

We got the tent up- by now it was god knows what time, we were drenched, the ground was swampy and the wind was windier! We put some stock in the tent- then we noticed water ponding on the ground- and under the end of the tent. We  had to make a decision.

Main stage- with added water features!

And we decided that we couldnt risk leaving the stock there- and we certainly couldnt sleep in an inch of water on the ground. So that was that. Time to call it a day.

The water keeps a comin… Front of stage.

 We left considerably damper than we arrived- I had mud up to my knees and all over my coat (on which I had broken the zip when I leaped to grab the stall as it flew! I also had a hair fail- and had red hair dye all down my face! Good job I hadnt applied any eyeliner!

Cheltenham or The Lake District?

We squelched home in torrential rain, stopping at various services, just to give them a good eyeful of our drenched state, and we arrived home just before midnight.

Hammo enjoying a paddle

I dont know if there is a moral to this tale. We had everything we needed, but the elements were fiercely against us. We got home telling ourselves that it could have been a lot worse, but after so many good times, its tough to swallow- especially when you take into account the cost of pitch fees etc.

Some of our friends managed to ride the night out- but having Jess with us put things in a different light. We saw at least 2 stalls aside from our own take off while we were setting up (trying), and the thought of the wind getting up and things blowing around in the dark- well, you get the picture.

And so I close our tale of woe, and shall proceed to the next chapter…

Stay tuned!

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~ by Zoe on June 14, 2012.

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