Record crowd at Chislehurst Rocks
PUBLISHED: 12:32 25 June 2019
Record numbers of visitors attended Chislehurst Rocks on Saturday, with organisers estimating almost double the number of previous years.
The organisers say the bigger turnout was thanks to an increased effort to cater for those who need help with access to venues.
Visitors were treated to a line-up of acts on the main stage and very moving performances from Riverside School.
Festival goer Mike Jack is a member of 100 club - where volunteers pay £100 to make the festival free.
He posted on Twitter: "Well done to the team at Chis Rocks who put in a fantastic day of superb entertainment. We are so lucky to have events like this in our community. Magic and Thank u!"
The accessible rocking support package included early entrance before the general public, toilets with attendants, hoists, showers and adult changing tables, a quiet zone, ear plugs, and so-called champions from Riverside School.
There were also sunflower lanyards for "hidden disabilities" and clear signage.
Katrina O'Leary, of mothers of disabled children campaign group Need2change UK, posted on Twitter: "We had an amazing time at Chis Rocks. It's hard to put into words what a huge difference it makes to have and accessible event. It was lovely to spend time together.
"The inspiring Riverside School Choir- Wow! You all rock!"
MP for Bromley and Chislehurst Bob Neill posted on Twitter: "Great to meet communities' secretary of state and Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire at the fantastic Chis Rocks.
"A great community event."
The organisers do not get any funding and have to raise the £30,000 it costs to put on the event.
But local businesses, community groups and help residents sponsor the festival.
And volunteers from Sainsbury Chislehurst, Riverside School, Main Road, Orpington, and pupils from Coopers School, Hawkwood Lane, Chislehurst, joined the volunteer event professionals and residents to staff the event.
Rachelle Harte, CLEAR Synergy director and event organiser, said: "We are so grateful for the support we have had local residents, community groups and businesses. They have volunteered time and money to put on this event."