© Copyright 2000-2011 Alan White - All
Upton Blues Festival 2007
As most of you in the UK will know, we had a little rain over the festival weekend. Well, more than a little really. Record rainfall followed by record flooding. Upton is situated next to the River Severn, the second largest river in the UK, but the largest to flood. And flood it did with devastating results. Travelling to the festival on the Friday was extremely difficult for everybody - storms lashing the area for 36 hours. And where does the rainwater go - into the river. And where does the river go when it gets swollen in such a short time - across the fields and into the villages and towns. So during Saturday we had Upton UNDER Severn, a town trying its best to have a Blues Festival. On Saturday night, after a valiant attempt to keep the festival going with only a few bands and fans able to get there (many travelling for 12-15 hours through horrendous conditions), the announcement was made that the floodwater had risen rapidly and cut off the town, so no vehicles could get in or out. On Sunday morning there was no option but to cancel the festival. But us diehard fans, townspeople and local businesses don't give up. On Sunday afternoon we had a Street Party with flooded streets and fields all around us.
A weekend I'll never forget - for the dedication of the bands and fans who struggled to get there, for the festival organisers who couldn't have done any more, for the townspeople who battled on to keep the town going, and finally to the local business people, who worked so hard to keep their businesses going and with many of them affected by the flood, now facing financial ruin. In many cases it's these people who provide the venues for the likes of us to go and enjoy our music. About a third of the Blues Festival venues in Upton have now been trashed by the floodwater.
Our hearts go out to them.
But the show must go on.....
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