Hazy Days team praised for ‘amazing’ festival – but what lies ahead in 2018?

PUBLISHED: 09:29 14 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:29 14 July 2017

Reef's Gary Stringer. Picture: Andrew Thompson

Reef's Gary Stringer. Picture: Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson

One week on from Weston’s ‘brilliant’ Hazy Days festival weekend, praise continues to be lavished on the event’s organisers for creating ‘Glastonbury at the seaside’.

The event was a massive success, with big name performers like Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Reef and Newton Faulkner among those to thrill the crowds.

The whole thing was put together by a small team of volunteers, who have been praised for their ‘superb organisation’ and the event’s ‘electric atmosphere’.

Mark Whitehouse, the man who dreamed up the idea for a Weston festival 18 months ago, led that band of organisers, and took to Facebook afterwards to thank supporters and outline his faith in the Tropicana venue’s future.

He wrote: “The support of so many musicians in this town is one of the main reasons I have kept doing this.

Crowds loved the Fun Lovin' Criminals' finale set. Crowds loved the Fun Lovin' Criminals' finale set.

“Having the likes of Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Newton Faulkner, Reef, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Neville Staple and the outstanding Sian Evans, with lots of hugely talented, up-and-coming unsigned and local artists perform at the festival, means there is a future for this venue.

“The Tropicana is an amazing space and I believe that it will become one of the best event spaces in the South West and will only enhance what this town has to offer.

“For those who continue to support what I, and a small team of dedicated people are trying to do, thank you.”

MORE: Which Hazy Days act stole the show? Vote for your favourite.

The team behind the successful Hazy Days 2017 festival. The team behind the successful Hazy Days 2017 festival.

Another of the organising team, Andrew Thompson, told the Mercury Hazy Days volunteers had done a stellar job, and added benefits had been felt across the whole town.

He said: “This festival was put together initially by a team of five and then expanded during the build over a couple of weeks.

“Of course we also had volunteers on the day and in the main, it went smoothly. This was done because we all have a love for music and the town.

“I know that local hotels had few rooms left and I met people who travelled from London, Manchester, Leeds and Leicester to be there.”

And support for the event also came from John Crockford-Hawley – a member of North Somerset Council, which owns the festival’s Tropicana venue – who attended both days.

He said: “I would like to put on record a very big ‘thank you’ to Mark Whitehouse and co, (council seafront events manager) Darren Fairchild and co and all others who worked so hard to make Hazy Days a huge success; don’t think I’ve seen such crowds within those walls for many a long year.

“My Friday and Saturday evenings on-site left an impression of superb organisation, electric atmosphere, friendliness among all age groups and a real sense of ‘festival’.

“The combination of local and big-name international bands clearly worked and the overriding sense of high musical and performance quality would have left nobody disappointed.

“Glastonbury at the seaside? Part of the ‘new’ Weston? I look forward to next year’s Hazy Days.”

And so what of next year’s plans?

Mark Whitehouse added: “Facebook has been full of videos, positive comments and people asking about next year. We got it right and if there is a desire by the council to work with us again, who knows?”

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