DESPITE torrential rain throughout the weekend crowds still flocked to the 29th Middlewich FAB Festival for a weekend of music, entertainment, shopping and plenty of food.

This year saw new attractions at the festival as well as the return of the popular Floating Market, which had to be cancelled last year after the canal collapse.

Dave Thompson, events manager at Middlewich Town Council, was disappointed with the weather conditions for the festival but he was delighted with the support the event received from the community.

Dave said: “It was definitely a success despite the weather. You can spend days, weeks and months planning different things and it’s a shame when you can’t do it all because of the weather but I am very happy with what we were able to put on.

“Unfortunately we had to cancel a lot of dance performances simply because they weren’t safe with the conditions.”

Winsford Guardian:

The weather wasn't enough to stop people enjoying themselves

Dave is not thinking about FAB Festival 2020 until everything from has been cleared from the field.

He said: “Next year is the last thing on my mind at the moment, I’m shattered after the weekend. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll have a look at what worked and what didn’t during the festival to make improvements next year.

“I would say that everything will be cleared within a few days and then we just need to give the field a bit time to repair itself. In about four weeks you won’t be able to tell that we were there.”

The main entertainment on Friday night came from noughties sensation Toploader as they had the town ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ to their set.

Winsford Guardian:

Toploader performed on Friday night

The Eastbourne band were excited to make their FAB festival debut and they struck a chord with the crowd who were in the mood for dancing.

Dave said: “The big acts seemed to go down really well, we had a few issues with Toploader not being ready on time but the sound was great. I think Showaddywaddy really surprised people on the Saturday night.

“All they needed was a cup of tea with a biscuit and they were on at 9pm and off by 10.30pm. They were an absolute dream.”

There were plenty of changes to FAB festival and the new attractions proved to be successful and will likely make a return next year.

One of the debut attractions for this year’s festival was the Professor Panic’s Family Circus which as well keeping children entertained, also kept visitors dry.

Dave said: “The Professor Panic’s Family Circus was fantastic. It was full of children all day on Saturday and that was the beauty of having that on the Market Field. It meant despite the weather there was a place where the children could be entertained without being out in the rain.”

Winsford Guardian:

The fringe events were a success

One of the other new attractions to the festival this year was the St Luke’s Busker Bus which offered entertainers and residents a chance to perform and be a part of the festival.

Dave said: “I didn’t get to see any of the Busker Bus in action but we really wanted that for last year but couldn’t sort it out. This year though we were able to hire out the Town Wharf for it and I hope people enjoyed that.”

The team at St Luke’s were happy with the awareness the bus helped raise for the work that the hospice does.

St Luke’s Hospice encouraged entertainers from the area to get in touch about booking a slot on the bus and the charity had no shortage of entertainment for the audience and they were able to inform visitors on the work that the hospice does.

Winsford Guardian:

The Floating Market made its anticipated return

Angela Slack, community partnerships manager at the hospice, said: “It was successful for us but the weather did make it a bit more difficult. It’s just a shame because we were really well supported with bands, choirs and local artists who were happy to perform one-hour sets. We had plenty of visitors which enabled us to talk to people and really raise awareness for the hospice.

“We also had a raffle car which was kindly donated by Cliff Dickinson, so you could enter for £1 and come away with a Ford Ka.”

Despite challenging conditions with the weather the team at St Luke’s want to return next year and make an even bigger impact.

Angela said: “We’d like to do it again next year and hopefully the weather will be a lot better because I do think that would have made a massive difference but we were still very well supported and it was great to be able to promote some of the events that we have on our calendar.”