UK weather: More festivals cancelled as thunderstorms and 60mph winds to batter UK

‘No matter where you are in the UK you’re at risk of seeing some kind of localised disruption’

Andy Gregory
Saturday 10 August 2019 10:47 BST
UK weather: The latest Met Office forecast

Thunderstorms and 60mph winds are forecast to batter the UK this weekend, leading to the cancellation of events across the country in the face of weather warnings and flooding.

After the high-profile closures of Boardmasters in Cornwall and Houghton Festival in Norfolk, many smaller-scale events have followed suit, leaving thousands disappointed.

“No matter where you are in the UK you’re at risk of seeing some kind of localised disruption from wind,” said Met Office forecaster Craig Snell.

The Met Office has put in place yellow weather warnings for storms in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and for strong winds across England and Wales.

England’s Environment Agency warned of possible flooding in 16 locations on Saturday morning, with some areas expected to see 40mm of rain within three hours.

On Friday, England and Wales were given a taste of the weather-related travel chaos besieging Scotland for much of the week, with trees falling on cars in Devon, flooded roads and railways, and flight cancellations.

The Met Office warns travel disruption could continue into Sunday, which is likely to add to the frustration of those holding tickets to cancelled festivals.

LGBT+ Pride events in Chester, Milton Keynes and Plymouth were postponed over safety concerns, with organisers planning to rearrange at a later date.

Some planned events were particularly susceptible to the strong gusts.

Blackpool Air Show’s first day was cancelled on Saturday over fears that predicted 45mph winds were a risk to pilots and the public, as was nearby St Anne’s Kite Festival.

Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta was also forced to cancel its much-anticipated mass ascent on Friday.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust told Wildside Festival attendees they were “absolutely devastated” at having to cancel for the second time this year, saying “the potential risk is too severe for the event to go ahead”.

The organisers of London Wildlife Festival at Walthamstow Wetlands also said the event would not go ahead.

The first day of the inaugural Women’s Tour of Scotland cycling race was abandoned after two hours due to “heavy sections of standing water” on the road between Dundee and Fife.

In Wales, vintage car fairs, carnivals and shows were cancelled in Pontypridd, Cardigan and Llangurig respectively.

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Boomtown Fair was still going strong on Saturday, despite the weather warnings, with relatively few attendees bemoaning the strong winds and rain on social media.

Organisers wrote on Twitter that they were closely monitoring the weather, and that some campsites had been affected by the gusts.

One festivalgoer complained he had been forced to return home after his tent was destroyed by the strong winds.

The Met Office expect England and Wales should see the heavy winds subside by Sunday as the band of low pressure responsible passes into the North Sea.

Additional reporting by PA

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