Travellers move onto Cleckheaton Folk Festival campsite

Travellers on field off Primrose Lane. (d30061101)
Travellers on field off Primrose Lane. (d30061101)

ORGANISERS of Cleckheaton Folk Festival have vowed the show must go on – after travellers moved onto the main campsite 48 hours before revellers were due to arrive.

The travellers arrived at the site, in Primrose Lane, Littletown, on Wednesday, with dozens of caravans.

The field is the only designated campsite for festival-goers and can hold up to 200 tents.

Festival director David Minich said the travellers had agreed to leave by 8pm last night. As we went to press police were expected to move them on and clear the site.

Mr Minich said: “The festival is going ahead as planned. The travellers have been asked to move by police and they said they would leave by 8pm. If they do not leave we will work with Kirklees Council to find a suitable alternative.

“Somebody has put a spanner in the works but it’s only an obstacle to overcome. There is little I can do other than work with Kirklees Council to make sure the festival goes ahead. We are leaving it in the hands of the authorities.”

More than 200 campers are expected to pitch up on the playing fields this weekend for the festival, which is one of the biggest in the country and draws thousands of folk music fans from across the UK.

The field has been used for several years to accommodate the throngs of fans who camp for the weekend.

The council has come under criticism for not securing the site properly, with calls from as far back as 2007 to secure the field with metal fencing. But Mr Minich added: “The show must go on. We have somewhere around 2,000 people turning up in Cleckheaton on Saturday and we want to give them a good show.”

A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “The council and the police are working together on this issue and the intention is to move this encampment by Thursday night.”

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