Cosford Food Festival ticket-only for Sunday after 'unprecedented' Saturday crowds
Absence certainly does make the heart grow fonder for Cosford Food Festival after huge crowds descended on the first event since the pandemic.
The festival, held at the RAF Museum in Cosford, proved so popular that organisers have cancelled the sale of any tickets online, or on the door for Sunday, after "unprecedented demand" caused major delays for some people getting into the venue.
The volume of people trying to get in saw tailbacks to the M54 during the early afternoon, with delays of well over an hour for a number of those attending.
It came after huge numbers of people made their way to the event, with organisers running out of parking space and having to bring in a one-in one-out policy for vehicles.
In response the venue posted on social media to warn people against attending without a ticket – both for the rest of Saturday afternoon, and tomorrow.
It said: "The Cosford Food Festival is now SOLD OUT for both Saturday and Sunday. Please only travel to the museum if you have pre-booked your ticket. Due to unprecedented demand, tickets will not be available on the door."
Michelle Worthington from the RAF Museum said that anyone who had a ticket for Saturday who had decided they did not want to queue would be able to use them for Sunday.
The event itself saw a packed field of food stands, bars, music, children's activities, and producers, with people taking the chance to relax on picnic benches or in front of the stage.
Thankfully the record-breaking temperatures of earlier this week were gone, but it was still warm with the rain holding off under a cloudy sky.
It was the first time back for the event since 2019, and it was celebrated with a fly-past from a plane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight display group.
As well as the usual food festival treats the museum had its own twist on the occasion, with a rum and whiskey tasting session in the massive VC10 aircraft on the field, as well as story-telling for children and families in the giant Hercules.
Ms Worthington said they had been delighted to have the event return after such a long absence.
She said: "It is just nice to be back to the big summer events we were used to putting on previously. It is great to have that back, people coming to the festival, coming to the museum as well, it is a great way to introduce new audiences to what we have at the museum."
John Jenkins of Monty's Cider was one of the many stallholders at the event, and said it had gone so well he was only sorry he had not brought more bottles.
He said: "It is great, we have been coming here for some years and it is very, very good. It attracts a lot of people because of the museum and the crowd is fantastic.
"It has been a very good day but I just wish I had brought more bottles."
There was frustration from some attending over the length of time it had taken to get into the event.
Nick Taylor from Brosgrove said: "It is great once you can get in."
Luke Ryder from Walsall said: "I have been here four times before, maybe more, and I have never seen it like this.
"It's really good but it did take us about two hours to get in."