Beloved music festival Welliestock 2024 cancelled due to rising costs

A popular music festival will no longer take place this summer due to rising costs and its organiser unwilling to pass on its cost to revellers. Welliestock, a family-friendly event in Wellington, has been held for several years at the Beech Grove Pitch at Wellington Rugby Club.

With Welliestock set to celebrate its 10th anniversary on July 6, the one-day event will no longer go ahead as planned. Huw Weston, organiser of Welliestock, broke the news on the festival's Facebook page “with a very heavy heart” and stated rising costs would have caused the ticket prices to increase to £25.

He said: “I have tried for months to reduce the cost of the event but sadly, with everything being far more expensive than 2018 I have not been able to find a way which would have seen tickets having to double in price, something which we always aimed at avoiding as we always want it to be an affordable family event.

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“In 2018, with the additional costs required after our little ‘battle’, my family had to find several thousand pounds to cover what we all described as a waste of money and resources but those were the hoops we had to jump through in order to put on what was a brilliant, sold out day.

“The risk this year would be far more and with an unexpected house move within the next two weeks, I have been worried that with all the planning, meetings and phone calls, possibly some pleading over the last 8 months, we would still have not been able to price the event as we always wanted to.

“The line up was stunning and even if the tickets had been around £25(up from £12 in 2018), you would not have found a more exciting and eclectic bill of artists in the South West.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Welliestock has not been held since 2018. But Huw remains hopeful the festival can be held in 2025. He added: “We have tried every way we could but sadly this year is too much of a financial risk knowing we did not want to increase the tickets as much as we would have had to.

“Telling my two boys who were playing this year was a tough one as I know how proud they would have been performing in their home town in front of friends and family. But they get it.

“We know there are a very very small number of people who have been asked to help out at WS but have always declined, have never attended but have always criticised the event so this might give them their annual 5 minutes of enjoyment.

“But for me, I never give up on Welliestock but sadly the financial risk was too much. But we are already discussing 2025 with licensing and Welly RFC as I want to host the event again. “There probably will be an increase in ticket prices but not much. Please accept my apologies but you know I have always tried my best.”

'Welliestockers' have taken to Facebook to react to the festival's cancellation this year, but hope for an “amazing Welliestock” in 2025. Many have also shared they would be happy to pay £25 to help support the festival.

Lyn Woollard shared: “I would have said £25 was responsible! Six years have passed and covid changed a lot of festival prices. Hope it comes together for you in 2025.”

Michelle Dainow said: “What a shame, after what has most likely been months of hard work trying to pull it together. I am new to Wellington and not been to a Welliestock but past reports sound great, and I agree with others that £25 is not that high a price to pay for an afternoon/evening of fun entertainment. Let's hope for 2025.”