Bearded Theory Spring Gathering Traffic

Traffic chaos hits first night of Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering

24th May 2018 Off By Sam Warrenger

The opening of Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering today has been marred by traffic chaos, with festival organisers already promising an investigation to ensure it never happens again.

Held at Catton Hall in Derbyshire, the festival will welcome Jake Bugg, Blossoms, and Fun Loving Criminals this weekend. 

The problems are not yet over, with festival-goers reporting on social media that they are still queuing after over 5 hours. As Bearded Theory organisers attempted to blame the delays on an incident on the nearby A38 dual carriageway, fans reacted angrily, with some claiming the festival traffic was the root cause of the problems.

Local bus company Midland Classic dubbed the A38 “a very long car park” as the evening rush hour approached, reporting major delays to multiple services.

However, well past 10pm on the Thursday night of the festival, all problems on the A38 have cleared and yet a substantial backlog remains outside the festival, as shown below. Those stuck in the queue have missed this evening’s line-up, which included a set from Reverend & The Makers.

9:45PM Thursday 24th May

Shortly after 3PM today, Bearded Theory posted a photo of Skaciety performing on the Pallet Stage, declaring the festival open. It was immediately met with countless comments demanding an update on the traffic situation.

Then shortly before 5PM, the festival posted their first update acknowledging the traffic problem, blaming an issue on the A38. Fans were reluctant to accept this explanation, with two incidents on the A38 both reported to be some distance away by the Burton Mail.

Bearded Theory Traffic

Dozens of social media posts have attributed the problem to the rate at which campervans were being admitted, with an overflow field reportedly brought into use.

Others poked fun at the festival’s attempt to pin the traffic problems on the incident.

Bearded Theory however attempted to double-down on their lack of responsibility, instead adding a burst water main and a lorry stuck under a bridge to their previous explanation.

Both fans and local residents were quick to disagree, again citing slow campervan access as the main cause of problems and showing their disdain at the festival’s attempts to pass the blame.

Finally, just before 9pm tonight, Bearded Theory issued this apology on their Facebook page, promising to investigate the issues and ensure they do not recur.

Organisers have also confirmed that the gates will remain open tonight until everyone is inside.

Some fans have reported turning around and leaving, planning to try accessing Bearded Theory again tomorrow. Others have complained that similar issues have occured in previous years.

Spare a thought tonight for those that are still queuing after over six hours, then having to pitch up in the dark, knowing they’ve missed a night of the festival. But don’t feel too sorry for them, as it’s gonna be a scorcher this weekend, and they’ve got one incredible weekend ahead of them at a sold-out Spring Gathering.

Festival organisers have been contacted for comment.

Main image credit: Lorrimer

TheFestivals & Editor ● The Tab Contributor ● University of Manchester Politics Postgrad ● Bangor University School of Computer Science graduate ●  Blog ● One of 1500+ Chester FC owners

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