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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Festival shuts flooded campsites
Reading Festival site
Some camping areas will be closed and others are still soggy
The Reading Festival has abandoned parts of its campsite, which are still waterlogged after last month's floods.

Some fields have been declared unfit and a car park has been turned into an emergency camping area to compensate.

Other areas may be still "boggy", fans have been warned. The festival, which is held on the banks of the River Thames, is due to kick off on Friday.

But the main arena, which will host bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is "fine", organisers said.

In a message on the festival's website, organiser Melvin Benn said it had been "a challenge" to recover from the floods, which resulted in waist-high water in some parts of the site a month ago.

Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis
The Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline Reading on Saturday
"We have recovered to a large extent but not fully and a fair amount of the site is still not campable today," he told fans.

Most of the camping areas will be open, but some parts will be closed and others will still be soggy.

The site is split into different areas named after colours. The orange car park has been turned into a campsite and most of the parking will now be in the white area.

A boat service between different parts of the site has been boosted to accommodate the new arrangements.

The stages and the main arena are further away from the river and so have not been as badly affected.

"The summer has been bloody awful," Mr Benn said, praising Reading Borough Council, the Environment Agency and the site crew for helping to reduce the river level next to the festival.

"We will be able to stage the world's greatest rock festival despite what climate change and the weather have thrown at us," he said.

"I always said the festival was more important than the weather!"


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