Sales boom for 2018 Wickham Festival

The 2018 Wickham Festival looks set to be the most successful yet.

With chart-toppers Squeeze confirmed as the prime headline act, tickets have been selling fast for the August 2-5 event in the picturesque Hampshire village.

One of Britain’s top bands of the past 40 years, the hugely-popular new wave icons will top the bill on Saturday August 4 supported by John Ilsley of Dire Straits, the Tom Robinson Band and Ferocious Dog among others.

Rock legend Steve Harley has been confirmed as the main attraction on the opening night, Thursday August 2 along with the South and the Dhol Foundation.

They join Show of Hands and Kate Rusby on Friday August 3 and folk icon Richard Thompson who closes the event on the Sunday night backed by the Undertones, the Blues Band and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

And that exciting bill has prompted a rush for weekend tickets which have been selling exceptionally well.

Organiser Peter Chegwyn said: “The line-up is looking incredibly strong and advance tickets sales are reflecting that. It is looking like a bumper crowd so fans are advised to buy early.

“We are well up on this time last year with many people booking even before we had announced a single act. They trust we will always have a top quality line-up – and just as importantly the unique atmosphere will never change.

“The festival has a real family-friendly feel with plenty to entertain young children as well as a great range of food, drink and craft stalls plus four days of fantastic music.

“And once again we will be having a late-night comedy stage following its successful introduction last year. It is the perfect way for people to unwind or enjoy a final drink before turning in for the night. And it makes the tickets even better value.”

The announcement of Squeeze and Richard Thompson has prompted a real surge in demand for tickets.

Chegwyn added: “We are very lucky to have landed two such major names. Squeeze are hugely popular with Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook widely regarded as two of the finest songwriters of their generation. Their energetic sets always get the crowd dancing.”

Dubbed the heirs to Lennon and McCartney, the duo have enjoyed huge chart success with such hits as Cool for Cats, Up the Junction, Tempted, Labelled with Love, Pulling Mussels from a Shell… and many more.

They join Sunday headliner Richard Thompson who is acknowledged as one of the most talented guitarists of his generation; he will close the four-day event with his electric trio.

He has been described by the Los Angeles Times as the “Finest rock songwriter since Dylan and the best electric guitarist since Hendrix” winning the prestigious Ivor Novello award in 2011 and earning an OBE.

Equally adept on both electric and acoustic guitars, the founding member of Fairport Convention has been included in Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 20 guitarists of all-time

Chegwyn added: “Richard Thompson is one of the most iconic musicians on the scene and someone who is regularly requested by our fans.

“His unique style and wide catalogue of songs will provide the perfect end to what we are sure will be another very successful event.”

Once again there will be a late-night comedy stage and this year’s star attraction will be internet sensation Jonathan Pie who brings his full show on the Friday night.

Chegwyn added: “We know many people are not quite ready to turn in when the music finishes at 11 o’clock so this is a good way for them to chill and enjoy another drink while enjoying some top-class comedy, all included in the admission price.”

Weekend tickets are currently on sale at £160 with Under 16’s admitted half price and Under 10’s gaining free admission. Day tickets are also available. A weekend camping pass is £30 and parking is free. See for more details.