THE eagerly anticipated return of Eastnor Castle’s Lakefest has brought a welcome economic boost to the area — and some less welcome traffic on the roads. 


Dozens of local businesses are operating on the site, and many Ledbury people have jumped at the opportunity for some short-term work at the popular event. 


The four-day music festival got underway yesterday and runs until Sunday, drawing some 12,000 people to the grounds of the historic castle.


Among the highlights of the event will be a performance by Sir Tom Jones and an appearance by the Red Devils Army Parachute Display Team. Other big names set to entertain the crowds include Scouting for Girls, T’Pau, New Model Army and Seasick Steve.


The popular festival was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but many people agreed to sit on their tickets for a year in anticipation of the event’s return. 


Festival director Lee Martin has thanked “those lovely Lakefest customers who rolled over their 2020 tickets and kept us alive”.


Festival organisers have said the family-friendly event will exercise "every sensible precaution” to ensure covid safety. These measures include extra toilets, hand sanitising stations and an enhanced cleaning programme.


The event will also be entirely cash-free, with festival-goers making all payments via pre-loaded wristbands.


Organisers will likely have taken heart from the success of another recent festival, as Nozstock The Hidden Valley returned to its venue near Bromyard after more than two years. 


The one-day event went ahead last Saturday after being cancelled in July 2020 and July 2021. 


The scaled-back event was a success, with organisers of the festival at Rowden Paddocks describing it as "utterly magical”.


They added: "We have been dreaming of having you back in our fields for the past two years, and finally, this weekend it happened."


As with the covid precautions at Lakefest, Nozstock organisers were taking no chances. Festival-goers were required to take a lateral flow coronavirus test prior to heading to the farm, or prove they they had been given both doses of the vaccine. Refunds were offered to any revellers who were not happy with these conditions.

For more information about the festival, which runs until Sunday, visit