Traders close shop on flooded field

2011-07-07 08:35

Foul weather and electricity outages put a damper on all things Festival as stallholders were forced to close shop at the Village Green and performers either had to improvise in the dark or put their shows on hold.

Stall owners were told to shut their stalls by 9am, as heavy rains and strong winds sparked concerns about traders’ and patrons’ safety, and the security of their supplies.

Village Green Fair director, Selina White, said the extent of the problem was not fully realised until the early hours of the morning, and they’d had no way of notifying everyone that the Green would be closed.

While traders were allowed onto the fields from 8am to check on their goods, according to the Festival’s official Facebook page, electrical engineers and structural engineers still needed to do safety checks before the venue could be opened to the public, because extensive electrical cabling in the area was still a risk.

By midday, workers had begun pumping out the pools of water that had accumulated on the field.

“We haven’t been able to trade at all today. The Green is waterlogged, there are puddles of water everywhere, including the tents. And that makes it not only impossible for the people to come down and enjoy the Green, but also damages stock,” said stall owner Howard Butcher.

“Security helped us secure our stores and helped us rescue our stock, and management have announced it is not a trading day,” he said.

Butcher’s Homegrown Music stall had been doing well, so he wasn’t too disappointed about missing a day.

Traders at Church Square were not left unscathed.

“We are very affected by the weather this year.

We don’t think we are going to make as much money as we expected,” said Clude, who is selling clothing at Church Square.

He said the weather was a big problem, because there was no way of controlling it.

To make matters worse, there were electricity cuts throughout the day.

Festival CEO Tony Lankester said the bad weather was affecting the cables, and the weather conditions were making it more difficult to fix the problem.

People in venues or waiting for productions should not worry about being left in the dark, Lankester said.

There were plans in place to deal with power outages.

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