ORGANISERS of a Hampshire festival which has been marred by lengthy queues and traffic issues have apologised to revellers.

Boomtown Fair, which kicked off on Thursday at the Matterley Bowl near Winchester, had a torrid start after people attending were left queuing for up to nine hours to get in.

Many people were complaining on social media that there were “not enough staff” and one stating they had seen “children collapse and faint”.

Increased security measures and bad weather were put down as the reasons for the delays getting into the festival, which has a 60,000 capacity for the first time in its history.

Lulu Winfield wrote on Facebook: “My daughter and friends got in at 10pm after nine-plus hours of queuing while watching other kids collapse and faint.”

Jennifer Green posted: “Terrible first festival experience for my 20-year-old daughter and her friends.”

Boomtown, which ends tomorrow, is no stranger to controversy. Last year dozens of cars were destroyed on the first day after a blaze in the car park, which was caused by discarded cigarette.

Last year also saw the tragic death of Olivia Christopher,18, who was found dead in a tent, having consumed a cocktail of drugs.

Boomtown features 160 artists and headliners will include two tone ska band The Specials, hip hop pioneers Cypress Hill, London rapper M.I.A, Arrested Development, reggae superstar Toots and the Maytals and 90s legends Chaka Demus & Pliers.

A spokeswoman for Boomtown Fair said: “Boomtown sincerely apologise to those who experienced the lengthy queue to get into the festival yesterday. Our gates were due to open at midday, however due to the ground conditions this opening was delayed for up to two hours. All gates were open by 2pm.

“Members of the public were advised of longer queues ahead of arrival due to the increased security measures implemented at the gates for safety reasons, as well as the conditions on the ground after the recent adverse weather. Queues were further impacted by technical issues at the wristband exchange, which have now resolved.

“Additional resources were deployed to all gates including event management teams, stewards, security, medical and welfare.”

“All members of the public were inside the festival by 23:15.”