The stage is almost set for the biggest pop concert in Alnwick’s history.
Despite heavy rain and flash floods in recent weeks, the Pastures has been declared fit to host Jessie J on Saturday evening. Keith Louch, from promoter KAL Music, was delighted and relieved to give the gig the go-ahead on Tuesday after consultation with Northumberland Estates, which owns the land, and Northumbria Police.
“In my mind, it hasn’t been in doubt, but you can never be too careful,” Keith told the Gazette. “It’s going to be a bit damp underfoot and there is some uneven ground so as long as people wear suitable clothing and appropriate footwear, then everyone should have great fun. So it’s wellies all round!”
The Pastures has suffered from the dreadful weather this summer and areas were also churned up by the torch celebration in June when an estimated 9,000 crowd desceneded upon the site .
Car parking will be the biggest problem and Keith has laid extensive tracking to help the sodden ground cope.
“We are encouraging people to park in Alnwick and walk down to the Pastures,” he said. “The Peth will be closed to vehicles, making it easier for pedestrians to access the site from the town.”
Taxis will be able to drop off at the lay-by beyond the Peth at the entrance to the concert field but will have to access it from the north, or they can stop at the Denwick Lane entrance.
The stage is being built further up the hill than in previous years, away from the worst of the boggy ground.
“As long as everyone is sensible, it will be a fantastic concert and I’m sure we’ll all have fun,” said Keith.
All 12,000 tickets for the gig were bought just over a week after they were released. Support acts will be A*M*E, a 17-year-old pop singer who is signed to Gary Barlow’s record label and James Jay Picton, who recently supported Rebecca Furguson.
Gates open at 5pm and the entertainment begins at 6.30pm. Jessie J will perform a 75-minute set from about 9pm.