*** DEBUG END ***

Festival shrugs off cloudburst

31 August 2012


Before the deluge: the Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn performing on the mainstage at Cheltenham on Friday

Before the deluge: the Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn performing on the mainstage at Cheltenham on Friday

THE power of prayer, then, was not enough to spare the Greenbelt Festival from the rain that has blighted so many of this summer's outdoor events.

On Saturday afternoon, when the festival was in full swing, the clouds burst. Within minutes, water was seeping, or in some instances cascading, into various venues on the site.

A combination of prayer, forward planning, and hard-working volunteers, however, meant that the inundation had hardly any effect on the huge Greenbelt programme. A few years ago, a run of bad summers almost finished the festival. But then came the move to the Cheltenham Racecourse, and now the organisers have a range of venues to choose from, many of them indoors.

As a result, few events were cancelled, and only one small area of the campsite suffered. The Big Top was soggy, and a talks venue, "Galilee", lived up to its name. The chief impact was on the pathway in the middle of the site, which became a quagmire, and never recovered.

Numbers were slightly down, either because of the weather or the financial climate, but only by about 500-600, the organisers say. About 19,400 came throughout the weekend. And the sun shone for the Sunday-morning eucharist, at which about £39,000 was collected to be given away by Trust Greenbelt.

The Church Times is the official Greenbelt media partner.

Full report


Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)