WICKHAM Festival organisers are still hoping to go ahead with the 2020 event amid a host of other coronavirus cancellations to Hampshire events this summer.

Celebrated singer Van Morrison is due to headline in what is considered a huge coup for the award-winning boutique festival which prides itself on its laid back and family friendly atmosphere.

The international superstar is set to top the bill on August 8.

The singer songwriter, who has a huge catalogue of hits including Brown Eyed Girl and Gloria, is due to be joined by the likes of Nine Below Zero, Tankus the Henge, Peatbog Faeries and John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett.

Top of the bill on the opening night is due to be the SAS Band (Spike’s All Stars) fronted by Queen keyboard player Spike Edney while a strong finish to the festival is planned with Sunday seeing the ever popular Waterboys headlining alongside Leo Sayer, the South, Stanley Jordan and rising stars Beans on Toast.

A Wickham Festival spokesman said: "16 weeks still to go to this year's Wickham Festival. If the Government deem it safe for public events to re-start by then we still plan to go ahead.

"Everyone's health and safety must come first but if the Government and Public Health England say it's safe for outdoor events to start up again by August then we will do so.

"We'll continue to keep everyone updated as the Covid situation develops. These are worrying times but let's all hope the situation is much improved by then.

"Other countries are starting to ease their restrictions on events taking place so let's hope it's deemed safe for the UK to do so as well by August.

"Let's all hope the peak of the pandemic is soon over, the public health situation improves, and the Government say we're all allowed out again.

"Public health advice from the start has been that there's less chance of catching the virus at a large outdoor event than in a small closed room like a shop or pub. If we can go ahead we will have a number of contingency plans in place.

"Many August and September festivals are, like us, still hoping to go-ahead but obviously it's a fast-changing situation and we're all watching closely the latest advice from the Government, NHS and other public bodies.

"If the Government relax restrictions by August then we will go ahead but with contingency measures in place to help ensure the good health and safety of everyone attending.

"We'll keep our options open as long as we can. We certainly intend to go ahead this year if we can."

The announcement was met with a barrage of positivity on Wickham Festival's social media streams with commentators saying 'the hope that the festival can take place is the one light at the end of the tunnel for me' and 'the line-up this year is so fantastic, I would be heartbroken if it had to be cancelled'.