Calnefest rocks as thousands have fun in sun
Thousands of music fans chilled out in the sun listening to bands and musicians at this year’s Calnefest.
The event on Saturday attracted around 4,000 people and more than 30 bands, who played across four main stages, catering for a wide range of musical tastes.
Popular acts included Mirabeau, AJ Live, Swindon reggae, dub and ska band SN Dubstation, and punk and indie band The Vooz from Marlborough.
Organiser Clare McCoombe said: “We were really lucky this year. It was pouring down with rain in the morning, but the moment the gates opened the sun came out.
“I spent most of my time in the dance tent. We had several DJs and different genres of dance music throughout the day, finishing with Casual-T who played an amazing set.
“The atmosphere changes throughout the day. You get families with young children who put a picnic blanket down and sit on the grass during the day.
“Then towards the evening you get more of a crowd in front of the stage. Mick O’Toole were headlining and they went down an absolute storm. They know how to work the crowd.”
Singer-songwriter Benji Clements, from Calne, played in the LeRoc Live Lounge alongside Jimmy Moore, Ben Maggs, The Wednezdays and The Real Cheesemakers.
He said: “It was quite last minute, but I ended up doing a headline act. It was probably one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve ever played. The amount of familiar faces in the crowd was beautiful.
“I played two original tracks and three cover songs, and one of them was from Mason O’Brian. He’s 13 and he’s got a stunning voice and I thought I needed to bring him up. I had the tent packed out.”
Wiltshire Police was also at the festival with drugs dog Patch enforcing an anti-drugs policy, to make sure those with illegal substances were refused entry.
This resulted in a 21-year-old man receiving a cannabis street warning.
PC Sonya Stockhill said: “Patch did a fantastic job. He did in excess of 40 stops. That means he has picked up the smell of drugs on them and every one of those people was taken away for a search.
“People used the amnesty bins provided. There were cannabis grinders and bongs.”
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