Rescheduled festival wows the fans

The Foals

Buck 65 on stage

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Music Editor. Please contact me on 01865 425494 and follow me on Twitter: @OxMailTimHughes

Organisers of Oxfordshire's best-loved music festival have thanked supporters for making it one of the best ever.

More than 5,000 people descended on Steventon, near Didcot, for the 10th anniversary Truck Festival yesterday and today.

The event was scheduled for July, but was postponed at the 11th hour after heavy flooding left most of the site at Hill Farm under water.

The cancellation left organisers facing a bill of £10,000 and threatened the long-term survival of the annual festival.

Organisers Robin and Joe Bennett, of the band Goldrush, urged Truck supporters not to return their tickets but to attend the rescheduled event, which wrapped-up in spectacular style tonight.

And fans were treated to an extraordinary line-up of acts, featuring sets by American legends Garth and Maud Hudson, of The Band, John Power, of Cast, and indie-rock band Idlewild.

The bill also included the cream of Oxfordshire's music scene, including The Rock of Travolta, The Epstein and buzz band Foals.

For Robin Bennett, the weekend was a double celebration.

On Friday - the anniversary of the first Truck festival - his wife Meg gave birth to the couple's first son.

"It's been a crazy few days and I've hardly slept," he said.

He said the highlights of the festival had been playing on stage with Garth and Maud Hudson as part of a 'supergroup' of country rock artists, including members of Grand Drive, Goldrush and Electric Soft Parade.

He added: "I never thought I would be going on stage as a father and playing alongside my favourite musicians at a festival on my local farm.

"The spirit at this year's Truck has been great. There has been a real feeling that everyone is in it together."

He said the festival had also been a financial success, which is expected to have covered the losses caused by July's floods.

It was also a money-spinner for local good causes, including the village church, whose vicar was serving ice cream, and Didcot Rotary Club, which hopes to have made more than £40,000 by selling chips and burgers.

Mr Bennet said: "The original idea of Truck was always to get together with friends and entertain people.

"The same is still true today. I want to thank people for supporting us."

Among those enjoying the weekend was Sunny Chahal, of South Oxford.

He said: "It was the first time I have been to Truck, but I will certainly be back.

"It is a really chilled, friendly festival and we had a good time."

Reid Morrison, of blues-rock band, Morrison Steam Fayre, was playing his second Truck festival.

He said: "It had been brilliant, better even than last year.

"It had been amazing playing on the main stage.

"I cannot wait to come back next year.

" I am part of the furniture here now.

"There have been some amazing bands.

"Garth Hudson was really good, and Tristan and The Troubadours, who are really young, are extremely talented."

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