Rhythms of the World 2012 review and photos

PUBLISHED: 12:51 16 July 2012 | UPDATED: 22:28 17 July 2012

The festival attracted thousands

The festival attracted thousands


THOUSANDS of festival-goers defied the rain and mud at the weekend to attend Rhythms of the World 2012 in Hitchin.

Wellies were the choice of footwear at Rhythms of the World 2012Wellies were the choice of footwear at Rhythms of the World 2012

IF you had to sum up the opening day of Rhythms of the World 2012 in four words, “mud, sweat and cheers” would do the job nicely.

The two-day world music festival held in Hitchin opened late on Saturday after bad weather had caused organisers to delay the start by a couple of hours.

Heavy rain turned Hitchin Priory’s lush, green parkland into a mudbath resembling the images often associated with Glastonbury.

The first pictures inside the site tweeted by Welwyn Hatfield Times news editor Chris Lennon showed some grass near the main stage. That soon disappeared into a sea of mud.

Revellers brave the mud at Rhythms of the World 2012 at Hitchin PrioryRevellers brave the mud at Rhythms of the World 2012 at Hitchin Priory

Conditions underfoot deteriorated as the day wore on and more festival-goers trampled over the hallowed ROTW soil, further downpours exacerbating the problem.

Wellies of various colours were the required fashion accessory of the day, although some brave souls had less suitable footwear for the terrain, despite the repeated warnings on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day.

“It’s muddy everywhere” was the Rhythms response to one mud-related tweet.

Just like the sun, which made a much-appreciated late afternoon/early evening appearance, the true British spirit shone through.

A group of youngsters enjoying the festivalA group of youngsters enjoying the festival

The rain failed to dampen the spirits of the party-loving ticket holders that had paid their tenner to have a chilled out afternoon in the park listening to music from all around the world.

The hard-working Rhythms organisers and volunteers religiously stuck to their task of putting on a great festival and, despite the mounting odds, the general consensus was they they’d achieved their goal.

Some groups had their Saturday sets chopped, but that was a sacrifice deemed necessary to ensure the rest of the festival went ahead as planned.

There were, as always, unexpected treats for revellers across the various stages.

A trio of youngsters didn't let the weather deter themA trio of youngsters didn't let the weather deter them

While watching an all-female vocal crew featuring a beatbox champion, Richard Cave tweeted: “The Boxettes on the main stage are just brilliant #rotw2012”.

Organisers at the end of the night praised those that had made the first day a success in difficult circumstances.

ROTW tweeted: “Amazing, amazing volunteers and festival-goers. Thank you for being so patient. We hope you managed to enjoy your day despite the rain :-)”

Fans generally agreed and went home happy, albeit rather wet and muddy, and the bands certainly seemed to enjoy the occasion as well.

Marching Donald on stage at this year's Rhythms of the WorldMarching Donald on stage at this year's Rhythms of the World

Having wowed Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House in 2010 and launched their new album at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield earlier this year, Essex folk group Mawkin loved the ROTW experience.

They tweeted afterwards: “Had a great time opening #Rotw2012 today! Gr8 festival, good people working hard to make people happy. What more do you need? @rotwfestival”

Those sentiments were echoed by Captain Sensible ahead of The Damned’s headline performance on the Nettlebed Stage.

Getting into the festival vibe, the New Rose punk group’s guitarist caught protest singer Edgar Broughton’s set, which prompted the tweet: “Edgar Broughton... still got that splendid voice. Must dig out ‘Out Demons Out’ when I get home.”

Crowds enjoying the music at Rhythms of the World 2012 in HitchinCrowds enjoying the music at Rhythms of the World 2012 in Hitchin

He had earlier tweeted: “Just watched talented singer songwriter type Rebecca De Winter at @rotwfestival where the sun is shining & we are on at 8.30pm #Rotw2012”

After ripping up the stage, Captain Sensible replied to one fan’s tweet: “Fab crew, nosh, audience... in fact Hitchen’s just plain Gr8”

Despite the often made spelling mistake in the Hertfordshire town’s name, few would argue with the Captain.

Roll on Rhythms of the World 2013 over the weekend July 13-14. Hopefully, the Priory’s grounds will have recovered from this year’s battering by then!

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