ORGANISERS of a village music festival are gearing up for their biggest event yet as they release 2,000 extra tickets.

James Blunt will headline the opening night of the Wickham Festival next week, and demand for tickets has been so high organisers have pushed capacity to 7,000.

Organiser Peter Chegwyn said fans are coming from across the globe to see the You’re Beautiful singer at the intimate gig.

“The response has been astonishing,” he said.

“We have always operated with a capacity of 5,000 but we have had to apply for an extension and we are very grateful to Winchester City Council for granting it.

“We now expect to have 7,000 fans on site making it the biggest event we have ever staged. But even with the extra tickets, we still expect to sell out before next week. It is a rare chance to see a major music star in a small rural setting.”

Blunt, who has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, has been playing to crowds of 40,000 as part of his Moon Landing tour recently.

Peter added: “It truly is a case of the world coming to Wickham as we have fans and artists heading here from Australia and the USA as well as from across Europe which is a fantastic boost for local businesses. We estimate it will bring an extra £1 million in revenue to the area.”

The festival runs from Thursday, August 14, until Sunday, August 17, and also includes The Lightning Seeds, Steve Earle & The Dukes and Bellowhead.

To buy tickets go to, and for more information go to