On the day the Fairford Air Show was cancelled due to the poor weather, young people from Swindon and further afield spent the afternoon and evening rocking at Lydiard Park.
ncounter, organisers of the Rock the Planet festival at Lydiard Park – the first of its kind in West Swindon – estimate over 650 people attended during the day, despite heavy rain and strong winds which meant most festival-goers ended up soaking wet. "It didn't seem to matter to the young people", said festival organiser Hanna Koning, "they just kept right on dancing!"
Rock the Planet was sponsored by electricity
supplier npower, and organised with the help of volunteers from West Swindon churches and organisations. "This meant we could make entry, and pretty well all the activities, free of charge" said Hanna. The programme was organised by ncounter, a local charity with a Christian foundation focusing on education and performing arts.
Highlights of the festival included performances by the urban dance group drawn from Swindon and Chippenham, Back2Base, a singing group formed especially for the event, and 7 local bands including Jeff Like Usual, the Pantonez and ncounter's own band, Collective.
Also on site were a 21 ft megaslide, creative arts, fashion and beauty as well as water games and space hopper races.
"The weather was pretty grim at times" said ncounter's Hanna Koning, the festival organiser. "One minute it was bright sunshine, the next torrential rain. But all credit to the hundreds who came to enjoy the music and join in all the activities going on – they made it a great success."
As well as the main festival programme, young people from West Swindon organised their own activities to raise money for TearFund, a charity working in Africa and around the world. Over £250 was raised and will be sent to help work with AIDS victims in Africa.