Standon Calling Festival's 15th birthday party cut short by torrential rain and flooding
- Credit: Khris Cowley for Here & Now.
Standon Calling's delayed 15th birthday celebrations were cut short by a torrential downpour on the final day of the festival.
After two years away, the Hertfordshire music, comedy and arts festival returned to Standon Lordship from Thursday, July 22 to Sunday, July 25.
Following main stage headline performances from Bastille and Hot Chip on the Friday and Saturday, with guest appearances from rising star Griff and Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker respectively, the festival was halted on Sunday during Lightning Bolt singer Jake Bugg's set.
Standon organisers were forced to close the festival early on its final day following a lightning storm and flash flooding caused by the deluge.
Sunday headliners Primal Scream were among the bands forced to cancel their appearance as the festival site turned into a 'Glastonbury-esque' quagmire.
Organisers posted on the festival's website: "Unfortunately, after 3.5 days of sunshine, at 5pm on Sunday evening, the heavens opened.
"While we had planned for a storm, no amount of planning can prepare for the volume of rain that landed between 5pm and 7pm – with Hertfordshire experiencing more rainfall in two hours than your average month of July experiences in total.
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"We thank everyone for their patience and positivity as we carefully planned the next steps which ultimately left us no choice but to cancel the final night of the show.
"The cruel nature of the final few hours of a glorious weekend is hard to comprehend.
"We understand the disappointment, but no amount of rain can dampen our spirits, no thunderstorm can cast a shadow over the triumphant feeling felt across the weekend and the euphoria of being back together again."
A statement posted on the Standon Calling website added: "We understand this is particularly disappointing for those of you who had Sunday day tickets and arrived at the same time as the storm."
People with Sunday day tickets are asked to contact the festival at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'SC21 Sunday Ticket Options' plus the lead ticket holder's full name.
Thousands of festival-goers had flocked to Standon over the weekend, making it the first full-capacity UK music festival to take place outside of the government’s Event Research Programme.
Revellers were able to attend Standon Calling 2021 thanks to the implementation of an industry-leading Pre-Event Covid Certification Process (PCCP), ensuring a reassuring experience for all attendees.
Created in collaboration with certification app Certific and experts at Imperial College London, PCCP involved all ticket holders taking a pre-event lateral flow test, filmed using the Certific app with results uploaded into its system.
Test certification was granted on a negative result after evaluation from experts at Certific.
A weekend ‘certification’ allowed fans the opportunity to return to the festival with the peace of mind that all attendees have followed the same procedure.
The result was a weekend where 15,000 music lovers were free to enjoy the thrills and excitement of getting back into the fields of Standon to enjoy memorable sets from headliners Bastille ReOrchestrated and Hot Chip, the latter featuring special guest Jarvis Cocker.
There were also sets from We Are Family stars Sister Sledge, Everything Everything, Mahalia, surprise new additions Shame, Icelandic Eurovision sensation Daði Freyr, Holly Humberstone, Mystery Jets, Baby Queen and many more.
Kids were entertained with sets from Horrible Histories Live and Dick ‘n’ Dom’s famous DJ Battle, while the famous Standon Calling Dog Show and costume parade also took place.
A Standon Calling statement said: "We created the PCCP alongside Imperial College London and Certific as it was the right thing to do by our audience, staff and artists.
"This was immediately evident as soon as the gates opened. The positive vibes were palpable and nothing could take away from the feeling of being back together again, in the fields of Standon with live music."
Speaking about Standon's 2021 return, founder and festival director Alex Trenchard said: "As an independent festival, to say that the past two years have been challenging would be an understatement – but being able to see the joy and celebration in the air as our beloved Standon Calling family returned last weekend was nothing short of incredible.
"Being able to be together again and revel in incredible new memories was an emotional experience for our team and made all the stress and difficulties worthwhile.
"To be able to bring Standon Calling back to life this weekend, despite not being a part of the government’s Event Research Programme, is something that I will not forget anytime soon – and I hope all who made this festival weekend so special will carry with them the memories of this momentous occasion.
"Whilst we had to cut the party short, I want to thank everyone who made this year's Standon Calling such an unbelievable experience and who stuck with us over the past two years. I can’t wait to see you all once again in 2022."
Attention now turns to next year's Standon Calling 2022. Early bird tickets are on sale now from standon-calling.com/2022-tickets