Lucky escape for festival crowds as power line snaps

NRHN 27-07-12 BE 1 Overhead power cable snapped at the rock and blues festival, Coney grey farm, Pentrich.
NRHN 27-07-12 BE 1 Overhead power cable snapped at the rock and blues festival, Coney grey farm, Pentrich.

Festival goers had a lucky escape when a live overhead power line snapped in the middle of the night at the Pentrich Rock and Blues Old School Weekend.

Three hundred people were evacuated from their tents after the cable fell into a camping area at Coney Grey Farm at around midnight on Thursday.

Fire crews from Alfreton put up a 1,500sqm cordon around the area while Western Power Distribution staff worked on the problem.

Organiser Tim Taylor said: “Nobody was hurt - not a scratch. The only thing we’re suffering from is sleep deprivation!

“We worked quickly with our security team to fence off the affected area and evacuated people to the tent housing the main stage.”

Station Manager David Crowther, from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, said: “An electrical cable fell from an overhead pylon striking the camp - it was a lucky escape for a lot of people.”

According to witnesses the power cable flashed as it snapped and fell on unoccupied trade tents next to the main stage, whipping off two flags.

Doctor and the Medics singer Clive Jackson was compering on the main stage when the cable snapped. He said: “I guess you could say the atmosphere was electric!

“When you think of all the cable we have lying around here and the one that snaps is an overhead power cable - what are the odds?

“This event has been going for 30 years and it all adds to the fun!

“Nobody has complained, they have all been brilliant. It’s a festival for people who want to chill out and enjoy themselves.

Over 1,000 people were on site at the time, with another 1,000 festival-goers expected on Friday.

Acts confirmed as appearing at the three-day event are UK Subs, Mentallica, Ozzbest, Hot Red Chilli Peppers, Hells Addiction, Jester, BB Blackdog, Bad Axe, AKA Skaface, Menace 67 and Accident And Emergency.

The famous Custom Show featured motorcycles, trikes, scooters and hot rod cars with a sideshow of unusual vehicles of interest.

Organisers said the festival is building itself up again after suffering a number of setbacks, including financial crises and bad weather.

Tim said: “The audiences are very loyal. One couple got married yesterday and are spending their honeymoon here.

“It’s the first real biker festival this summer where you’re guaranteed good weather.”

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