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Sheep Music makes a comeback for 2012
10:50am Thursday 1st March 2012 in County
A MUSIC festival washed out by floods five years ago is making a triumphant comeback.
The Sheep Music Festival in Presteigne was badly affected by torrential rain and flooding in 2007. Bands were forced to cancel, festival-goers got stuck in the mud and the campsite had to be closed.
But, determined to see the local event survive, a group of enthusiast fans have formed a committee and taken over. The new look Sheep Music festival will take place at Wentes Meadow, Presteigne, from July 20 to 22.
The ethos of the festival remains the same, with an emphasis on diversity and world music, but this year’s event will be smaller with only 1,500 tickets being released.
Twenty-two-year-old Ben Garman, a life-long Sheep Music festival-goer and musician, is one of the 15 new committee members and is hoping the 2012 event will start a new chapter in the festival’s 20-year history.
“Everyone on the committee has local roots and we’re all under 25,” said Ben.
“It’s a real collaborative effort; we’re a group of friends and fellow Sheep Music enthusiasts.”
“None of are getting paid.
We’re doing it because we love Sheep Music and want it to continue for another 20 years. But it’s not something we’re doing flippantly. We’re all hoping to be involved in one way or another next year.”
Founded in 1992, Sheep Music started as a party on the Warden, an ancient site on the edge of Presteigne, before moving to Wentes Meadow in the mid-90s where it grew in size and reputation. After a break in 2008, it returned for 2009 but struggled with poor ticket sales.
The cancellation of this year’s Big Chill – a summer festival that attracts some 30,000 people to Eastnor Castle – has been factored in by the Sheep Music team, but isn’t weighing too heavily in their minds.
“That was good and bad news for us,” said Ben.
“It means a lot of the bands who would normally be touring around here aren’t and we can’t book them, but it also means there will be festival punters looking for summer entertainment.”
“We’ve got to remember that the festival market has become saturated, but this has always been a little different because it started as a cultural event for local people and still is.”
Weekend tickets, priced £60, go on sale today (Thursday). Early bird tickets, priced £45, are available until today only. See sheepmusic festival.com for more details.