Chepstow Castle all-weather canopy saves events from washout
5:20pm Wednesday 25th July 2012 in News
IT was around seven years in the making but a £160,000 all-weather canopy was said to have been worth the wait after it saved the Chepstow Festival from being a washout.
Despite the wettest June since records began, an audience of more than 200 enjoyed performances of HMS Pinafore by Ilyria and Private Lives by Heartbreak Productions in the dry under the Chepstow Castle structure.
They were just two of 26 events which took place under the canopy, which was funded by European Union grants through the Welsh Government and match funded by Chepstow Town Council and Monmouthshire council.
"The canopy came to the rescue," said organiser and town councillor Ned Hayward.
"We were selling tickets in torrential rain at the gate. It looks like we will have wetter summers so it should also pay off in the future."
Just five events were called off during the month-long festival, including the Chepstow Carnival and an open day at Magor Marsh.
Following 90 events, including Wye Valley Music Society concerts in the Drill Hall, walks on the Wales Coast Path and book talks at Chepstow Library, the festival came to an end in much drier conditions on Sunday.
As well as the music from Castell Roc, the group Silva played as part of the Bands on the Bandstand concerts and a firework display lit up the town.
Mr Hayward said 6,000 people attended the castle events, but several thousand more enjoyed other attractions the festival had to offer.
"In general it was a great success. If it hadn't been such awful weather it would have been an amazing success," he added.