BOOMTOWN could go ahead this summer – but it would be much smaller and only open to local residents.

Organisers still want to put on a show after cancelling the annual 77,000 capacity festival scheduled for August 11-15.

A spokesperson told the Chronicle the plans are currently under embargo but will be published in the next few weeks.

She said: “This summer would have been the tenth year that the Matterley Estate would have been our temporary home, which makes our postponement even more heartbreaking.

“We can’t imagine another summer without celebrating with our local community and right now we are looking into the possibility of putting on an incredibly intimate, local gathering over the same weekend.

“The plans are in their infancy and are still reliant on the Government’s road map, but for now save the date and watch this space. We will update you as soon as we can.”

Local campaigners against the event were unhappy to hear a mini-event is being planned. David Templeman, of Hinton Ampner, said: “Any application for a ‘mini Boomtown’ must be rejected by South Downs National Park. SDNP residents and businesses do not want and have never wanted Boomtown, mini or otherwise, in the South Downs National Park. The SDNP is not a Theme Park or a Festival Park’.”

Mr Templeman said he also wanted Boomtown to refund the emergency grant they recently received from the Government. “It is incumbent on SDNP and all neighbouring parish councils in ‘ear shot’ of past Boomtown festivals to demand that Boomtown repay the CRF grant of £991,864, which is significantly more than was awarded to the Chichester Festival Theatre.”

As previously reported, the festival was cancelled last month.

Covid-specific cancellation insurance for events currently does not exist, meaning organisers were left without a safety net.

Steve Brine MP, who said he was “sorry to see” the event cancelled, told the Chronicle: “Sounds like a sensible plan to me and I don’t blame organisations like Boomtown – and Glastonbury – for seeking to maintain their brand in this way. I’m sure there will be great demand for the small number of tickets.”

Tickets for 2021 will automatically roll over to the 2022 event.