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Hi:Fi 'Great Start' Say Bosses

Despite low numbers, dozens of arrests, and bad weather, Hi:Fi festival had a "great start" say organisers.

Despite low numbers, bad weather conditions, and dozens of arrests, organisers of the UK's newest double-site music festival - Hi:Fi – said it was a "great start".

Festival promoter James Algate said of the festival's Northumbrian event: "It was an ambitious undertaking hosting the first ever festival of the North East.

"Year one can always prove more problematic as local residents and services can fear the worse, as is natural.

"With the negative press publicity, the anxiety from local residents and the adverse weather conditions the numbers weren't as high as we had hoped but we still feel it is a great start."

Bad Weather

Bad weather in the week leading up to Hi:Fi festival meant numbers were lower than expected.

Initial reports suggested that just 3000 people attended the one-day event at Matfen Estate, near Newcastle, a figure way below the organiser's estimate of 12,000.

Torrential downpours and high winds meant one of the stages had to be cancelled 24 hours before Hi:Fi North was due to begin.

hi fi festival
Angel Music Group suffered adverse criticism from local residents in the run up to Hi:Fi North, over fears of increased traffic problems, disorder, and crime.

But Sir Hugh Blackett of the Matfen Estate said: "I attended the event with my family.

"The atmosphere was very friendly and I was not surprised to hear that there were no disturbances or breaches of the peace during or following the event.

"Neither was there a local crimewave as had been predicted."

Arrests

Police arrested 53 people at the event, mainly for drug offences.

Hi:Fi South enjoyed marginally better weather conditions, with the two-day event at Matterley Bowl Estate attracting 15,000 revelers.

James Algate was positive about the festival's first year: "It is highly rewarding to have been given the thumbs up by the crowds.

"To reach 75% capacity in year one is a great result and we are already looking to build on everything positive for next year's event."