Witcombe Cider Festival branded ‘money grabbing shambles’ by angry festival-goers

Organisers of Witcombe Cider Festival urged those who hadn’t purchased tickets not to travel to the festival site today (Saturday 24th August). Just after 18:00 organisers advised the event had sold out and only those with pre-purchased tickets would be able to enter the event.

There are hundreds of comments from angry festival-goers on social media commenting on a number of issues such as overcrowding, long queues at bars, technical difficulties and lack of security/management presence. Others have told MyChurchdown the event should have been sold out much earlier to prevent such issues occurring.

One festival goer told us:

We paid over £100 for a family of 4 to attend this event, having gone to Witcombe for a number of years I can hand on heart say never again. The event has grown too big, too quickly. Most of our day was spent queuing at understaffed bars for over an hour at times. Fights and brawls broke out among festival goers and it was clear the feeling was shared amongst many others. Local roads were turned into car parks after the event and there was zero concern for the safety, wellbeing or enjoyment of festival goers. Hundreds of people are complaining on social media yet 12 hours on, no apology, statement or comment had been made. Festival organisers appear to be hiding and not admitting something has gone wrong, it’s a disgrace!

According to the event website Witcombe Cider Festival is a family event that has grown to become a firm fixture on the music festival calendar. With 10,000 attendees over August Bank Holiday Weekend, 50 Ciders and national artists. In 2018 the festival moved to its new home on Brockworth Road; a site with a much bigger capacity and scope for growth.

Camping & Contactless Payments in bars were added for 2019 removing the token system that had been in place for a number of years; this was in an effort to reduce single-use plastic.

There are now hundreds of comments on social media platforms from angry festival goers.

Event organisers have now provided a statement:

WITCOMBE CIDER FESTIVAL fully acknowledges and apologies profusely for the delays at bars yesterday.

We can assure you that the organisers and management team have been working tirelessly throughout the night and have taken measures to ensure that these issues are resolved for today’s event.

We take this opportunity to ensure ALL festival goers waiting times will be drastically reduced today due to more bar staff, more tills and the prepouring of popular drinks!

WITCOMBE CIDER FESTIVAL is fully committed to offering the best possible experience to its attendants and there will no better example of this than today. Here’s to a great day of sun, cider and DIZZEE RASCAL!

Queues at the festival bars.

Your Comments

Susan Burrows I’m absolutely shocked at seeing a ‘brawl’ break out at the bar, and I’m not surprised in the slightest. No security to be been, bar staff just watching, mediators trying to intervene but then getting attacked in the chaos. Myself & my group of 5 are leaving after standing in line for 50 MINUTES to buy a drink. Couldn’t make it up. The organisers should be ashamed of themselves. It’s very tense at the bars, security being threatened, fights.. I will be raising this with the council who will have some investigation work to peruse regarding this shambles. Good luck to anyone who goes tomorrow, seriously.

Graham Mace Overpriced . Understaffed , not enough bars , only two ciders . Forget it . People leaving as over an hour to get served.

Emma Mortimer Not great when I have tickets for tomorrow and your mates r texting you telling your it’s awful ???

Jade Hutton Absolute joke. Left less than 4 hours after arriving. Took over an hour to get served. Didn’t expect to spend the whole time I was there queuing.

Lauren Skidmore Gwynne Absolute waste of money, queue nearly 2 hours for one drink which meant we missed half of act! Sorry shall not be returning!

Denise Lerego Prout Wonder if he gets a drink in under 1 hour? … never again!.. we were there 2hours.. over £250 on tickets… to wait over 1 hour for drinks.. £100 on taxis in and out.. disgusting.. worst afternoon… back home

Simon Booth Really expensive drinks, completely unjustified by the long wait times at the bar, which are 2 hours at a minimum. We have done nothing but wait in queues all day and be served by understaffed and incompetent bars. You should refund your tickets immediately if you’ve paid for Sunday.

Samantha Shelton To the organisers you better get more bar staff in for tomorrow sounds awful I’m not queuing for 40 minutes!!!!

Stephanie Davies ?? glad we didn’t bother!! Last year many of the acts failed to turn up and this year its near impossible to get a drink. This festival should return to its roots – a small event (actually in Witcombe!) with a few bands on a small stage, you could get a drink when you wanted one,sit on bales of hay chilling with your mates.

Debbie Briggs Went to the festival last and it was not as busy as today or tomorrow but had to wait ages to get served at the main bar. As for the taxi rank …. that was a complete joke !!! This was our first time going and I’m not sure we will go again ! When u advertise faithless do set ( me being a massive faithless fan ) was really disappointed that in fact only 3 faithless songs played …. in my opinion that’s not a faithless set !!! Felt a bit conned actually!!!

Samantha Green Honestly the queues for drinks are beyond ridiculous. You knew the weather was going to be hot. Why have you not employed adequate staff? The champagne “and” cocktail bar (misleading title as only sells variations on champagne) had ONE member of staff to serve two queues. I waited an hour and then found there was nothing I could actually drink except water.

Jack Kelly Sort the bar issue out, not enough staff. Tills turning off and people waiting over a hour for a drink. ?

Kirsty Hayward We have left. No enjoyment in standing in queues for over an hour! Missed shy fx as we were queuing. What a let down of a day. We won’t be back!