Festival-goers evacuated after power cable snaps at Pentrich Rock and Blues event

Festival-goers had a lucky escape when a live 33,000 volt overhead power line snapped at the Pentrich Rock and Blues Old School Weekend.

Three hundred people were evacuated from their tents after the cable fell into a camping area at Coney Grey Farm at around midnight on Thursday.

NRHN 27-07-12 BE 6 Overhead power cable snapped at the rock and blues festival, Coney grey farm, Pentrich. The dr from doctor and the medics.

NRHN 27-07-12 BE 6 Overhead power cable snapped at the rock and blues festival, Coney grey farm, Pentrich. The dr from doctor and the medics.

Fire crews from Alfreton had to established a 1,500 sq metre cordon around the area while Western Power Distribution staff worked on the problem.

Organiser Tim Taylor said on Friday: “Nobody was hurt – not a scratch. The only thing we’re suffering from is sleep deprivation!

“We worked quickly with our security team to fence off the affected area and evacuated people to the tent housing the main stage.”

Fire Station Manager David Crowther said: “An electrical cable fell from an overhead pylon striking the camp – it was a lucky escape for a lot of people.”

According to witnesses the power cable flashed as it snapped and fell on unoccupied trade tents next to the main stage, whipping off two flags.

Clive Jackson, from eighties chart topping band Doctor and the Medics was compering on the main stage when the cable snapped.

He said: “I guess you could say the atmosphere was electric!

“When you think of all the cable we have lying around here and the one that snaps is an overhead power cable – what are the odds? This event has been going for 30 years and it all adds to the fun! Nobody has complained; they have all been brilliant.

“It’s a festival for people who want to chill out and enjoy themselves.”

Over 1,000 people were on site at the time, with another 1,000 festival-goers expected on Friday.

Acts which appeared during the three-day event were UK Subs, Mentallica, Ozzbest, Hot Red Chilli Peppers, Hells Addiction, Jester, Belper’s own BB Blackdog, Bad Axe, AKA Skaface, Menace 67 and Accident And Emergency.

The famous Custom Show also features motorcycles, trikes, scooters and hot rod cars with a sideshow of unusual vehicles of interest. Organisers said the festival was building itself up again after suffering a number of setbacks over the past ten years, including financial crises and bad weather.

Tim said: “The audiences are very loyal. One couple got married yesterday and are spending their honeymoon here.

“It’s the first real biker festival this summer where you’re guaranteed good weather.”

The overhead cable broke down as additional electricity went through it after earthing cables were stolen from a substation in Heanor.

32,000 properties in the local area were affected as a result, and power was restored within six minutes through alternative sources.

A spokesperson for Western Power Distribution said: “Under normal circumstances, the cable would adequately cope with the level of electricity running through it and we don’t know how it came to be damaged. The problem has now been fixed and everything was back to normal on Friday.”