Thousands enjoy Village Green festival

Echo: Beth Orton on stage
Beth Orton on stage

FESTIVAL-GOERS basked in sunshine as Village Green returned for a sixth consecutive year in Chalkwell Park.

The one-day event, put on by Chalkwell-based arts provider Metal, is a showcase for artists from headliner Brit Award-winning Beth Orton to village choirs.

Eleven hours of entertainment, spread over more than 15 locations in the park, were enjoyed by more than 20,000 revellers.

Highlights included Orton, Stanford-le-Hope act Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and Leigh resident Phil Jupitus, who recorded the Village Green stage crowd singing happy birthday to Wilko Johnson.

The weird and wonderful side of the festival saw a fire-breathing mechanical dragon, a fake crocodile roaming the site and a stage run entirely by youngsters from Southend.

Revellers had to pay £10 for their tickets, which had previously been free.

Ms Bailey said the price hike was worth it.

The festivities started on Friday, with a new event called the Next Generation – a mini-Village Green for school children.

The event gave young people from Southend a chance to showcase their music, film and visual art.

All infant, junior and secondary schools in the area were invited with more than 4,000 people taking part.

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