The Story of the 2019 Bongo Bash


Once again Lickhill Manor in Stourport, Worcestershire hosted our annual UK Bongo Bash but it very nearly didn’t take place! However before we get in to that let’s take you back in time to September 2018, a full 9 months before the event. This hidden-away industrial unit in Sheffield is where Mission Control is located and it was from here that the entertainment was booked, the PA system procured, the site itself confirmed, and the marquee and coach for the Saturday trip organised. We also ask the regular traders whether they want a pitch, and arrange the catering unit (Colin the Mad Chef).

In February it’s time to recruit the volunteers who will help us on setting up, reception, security and other tasks during the week. The previous year’s volunteers are given the option to return. But if it looks like we need some new blood then an appeal is put out on the Bongo Fury Forum. But mostly the previous year’s volunteers are only too happy to return.

By late March/early April we are ready to start taking bookings. There are only 56 hook ups (and another 8 that we split in to two) and these are taken quickly. It’s our busiest day of the year, but our team of highly trained operatives (Tracy and Marianne) are happy to take your call.

Over the next couple of months we continue to take bookings, mainly for the non-electric pitches until about a month before the Bash, we start to prepare the master lists and the information packs.

Finally, in mid June, we contact the site to check everything is OK……..but this year we were told there may be a potential problem. Lickhill Manor is right on the banks of the River Severn and although the stretch between Bewdley and Stourport has not flooded for a while, heavy rain in mid Wales meant that the river was swollen and had to be monitored carefully. Indeed flood alerts were being issued along the full stretch. We would have to get down to the site early and hope that the worst didn’t happen. We drew up contingency plans just in case Stourport flooded like it had previously. The key was 3 miles upstream. If the flood barriers were deployed at Bewdley we were in trouble.

Fortunately we were spared. On the day before the Bash began, the river, which was only 9 inches from the top of the bank at the rally field, started receding and we were open for business.

Tuesday 18th June was just about sunny enough for the grass to be cut, and the volunteers arrived to help set things up.

Apart from the usual minor issues, the Bash then proceeded as planned. Here’s a selection of some images from the remainder of the week. See you next year!