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Smiles and tears

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By Fiona Reid
Smiles and tears

FESTIVAL fun was cut short in Dumfries at the weekend when the weather intervened.

Thousands were left disappointed when day two of the long awaited Youth Beatz free music event was cancelled on Sunday due to high winds and rain.

The organisers made the ‘devastating’ announcement not long after the end of Saturday’s successful festival – although even it had been touch and go that morning.

And its 12 noon start had to be pushed back to 2 pm to allow more time to secure the tents and attractions in the wind.

But once the gates opened, there was no stopping them and 20,000 ticketholders flooded in to Park Farm, ready to party.

Even a 45 minute queue around the streets of Troqueer didn’t dampen their enthusiasm.

After a two year hiatus due to covid, everyone was clearly delighted to be back at Youth Beatz and ready to embrace everything it had to offer, from the climbing wall, zip line and bucking bronco, to the Toon drama experience, DJ Shed, surfboard and selfie booths.

There was football fun, a foam party, fairground rides, entertainment for younger kids, an It’s a Knockout, bubbles, hat making, magic and music.

A highlight for young and old was the incredible Arboria II Luminarium interactive art installation and it proved so popular that its opening time was extended.

Weather damage meant the main stage’s afternoon programme had to be pulled but there was still DJs and singers on the second stage, whipping the eager crowd into a frenzy.

And finally, just after 6 pm, in the evening sunshine, the Oasis main stage sprang into action, with sea shanty sensation Nathan Evans on first.

He was followed by Pixie Lott, in her first live appearance since her recent wedding, and loving the atmosphere at Dumfries, pictured above.

Wrapping up the evening was Ella Eyre, who soon had everyone singing along.

Confetti canons, smoke streams and big smiles added to the party vibe, with many commenting on the great day.

Those smiles soon turned to tears, however, when the organisers put out a statement just after 10 pm cancelling Sunday’s event, at which another 20,000 people were due to attend to see headliners John Newman, Vengaboys, Jonas Blue and Hrvy.

Blaming forecasted 50 mph winds, they said: “Due to the volume of stages, marquees, and activities on site we would be risking the safety of all of our attendees, volunteers, contractors, performers and staff team if we went ahead.

“This is not an announcement we want to make, nor is it one we are making lightly. Unfortunately, we just cannot control the weather.

We cannot put into words our sadness at this announcement.”

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