A CONCERT to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has been cancelled just days ahead, after travellers moved onto the site.
Wednesday’s celebration (June 1) – the first of four days of live music and entertainment in Abingdon – has been scrapped as council staff were unable to clean-up the trashed site.
Organisers Abingdon Town council were alerted to caravans having moved onto the festival site at Rye Farm Meadow a week ago. Staff were unable to cut the grass and set up the stage and stalls until the travellers left on Saturday, following action by Vale of White Horse District Council, which own the site.
However, work was further set back by the amount of rubbish left behind. Staff from Biffa, the council’s waste contractor, were yesterday busy cleaning the site to allow the rest of the event to proceed on Thursday.
Smiths tribute band The Smyths were due to be headlining, with Oxford soul-blues-rock band The Dead Beat Apostles supporting.
Abingdon community services and events officer Andy Crick said the cancellation was “unfortunate and a shame” but credited the district council and Oxfordshire County Council for helping to move the travellers on.
He said: “We’re in the process of clearing the site. We’re making it safe, such as cutting the grass and getting the infrastructure set up and checked over.
“It will all be set up over the next couple of days and we hope people understand this is something that cannot happen overnight.
“It’s not an ideal situation. It is unfortunate but we simply would not have had the time to get everything set up.
“It needs to be inspected once set up and we knew there was no way we could get it all up and running by Wednesday, which is a shame.
“Practically speaking, we’ve lost a week – so we’ve crammed a week of work into a couple of days.
“It was out of our hands. It was last Tuesday we found out, but the Vale of White Horse District Council and county council have done a very good job.”
The events from Thursday are still due to take place. It includes shows by Superloose, Llama Bite, Captain Kuppa T and the Zeppelins, BMW, Doug Graves and the Sextons, Catgod, Beard of Destiny, Osprey Osprey and the OX4 All Stars, Darkgnoss, Daze, The Shapes, Warren James and Hope & Glory.
“We’re going full steam ahead on Thursday,” said Mr Crick. “We’ve got so much happening we’re very much looking forward to it.”
A spokesperson for the district council said: “The travellers left Rye Farm Meadow on Saturday and Biffa have been on site to clean up.”
This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.
Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.
Get in touch with her by emailing: [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland
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