MUSIC lovers danced through the heat wave for the hottest-ever Mucky Weekender.

The music and arts festival, organised by Dub Pistols frontman Barry Ashworth, returned for its fourth year and third at Vicarage Farm in Woodmancott.

Selling out both days for the first time, organisers have applied to extend the festival to a three-day event next year.

With a maximum capacity of 4,000 there was still plenty of space for ravers to escape the heat as temperatures soared to as high as 30 degrees on Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9.

Hampshire Chronicle: Mucky Weekender 2023Mucky Weekender 2023 (Image: Emma-Louise Precious)

A new cosmic ‘Spaceship’ stage was in theme with this year’s ‘outer space’ dress code. As well as DJs, the boutique festival welcomed up and coming bands, electronic dance music, drum and base, reggae and street performers to its four stages across the 28 acres of parkland.

Hampshire Chronicle: The Spaceship stageThe Spaceship stage (Image: Emma-Louise Precious)

READ MORE: Mucky Weekender to extend festival from two to three days next year

@hampshire_chronicle Come with us to Mucky Weekender #muckyweekender ♬ original sound - Hampshire Chronicle

Hampshire Chronicle: Barry AshworthBarry Ashworth (Image: Emma-Louise Precious)Festival creator Barry Ashworth said: “It’s been absolutely incredible. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, it’s been unbelievable. I think it’s the hottest September on record so we have been truly blessed.

“The atmosphere is fantastic and the fact we sold out early was incredible for us. Everyone seems to be in such a good mood, it’s such a fantastic crowd here – they are the friendliest people.

“The artists we’ve had on like Goldie, Gardener, the list just goes on and on. It’s been really special for me.

“It’s like a family. You can come alone and leave with 4,000 new friends. These people love to party.”

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April Graham, from Basingstoke, was there for her first ever festival with friend Bev Luckens and it did not disappoint.

Hampshire Chronicle: April and BevApril and Bev (Image: Emma-Louise Precious)

April, 40, said: “I’m loving it. I was very anxious to come but it has been so good and I love the Dub Pistols – I managed to get a selfie with Barry.

“That’s what’s so nice is you can see and talk to the acts and there’s space to breathe. We will definitely be back next year.”

Bev, 41, said: “Everyone is so friendly here and that’s what makes it so nice.”

Amy Stockley, from Northamptonshire, wore her sparkiest outfit for her time at Mucky Weekender. She said: “We are loving it. It’s so hot but we are absolutely thriving in the heat.

Hampshire Chronicle: Amy Stockley (right)Amy Stockley (right) (Image: Emma-Louise Precious)

“We will definitely be back again. It’s really nice to be at a small festival. We go to Glastonbury most years and it’s packed so this is a lovely change.

“It’s a very friendly festival, everyone smiles at you.”

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Hampshire Chronicle: Cham Bain Smith (centre left)Cham Bain Smith (centre left) (Image: Emma-Louise Precious)

Cham Bain Smith, from Gosport, was there with her friends and dressed head to toes in sunflowers. She said: “This is my second Mucky Weekender. It’s so different this year.

“Last year we were in the campervan but this time we’ve opted for the tent. There’s a completely different vibe but both times have been as equally amazing.

“We’re back because we love the Skints. We’re loving the heat – got lots of suncream and some cold beers but I did spend £12 on two bags of ice which is crazy”

Hampshire Chronicle: Rodney PRodney P (Image: Emma-Louise Precious)

MC Rodney P, who co-wrote the song Mucky Weekend with Mr Ashworth that inspired the festival, said: “Mucky Weekender always has good vibes and energy. It’s one of the last festivals of the season so it’s the last salute rave for the summer.

“I’ve been in many a muddy field and hot is definitely better.”

Speaking on the plan to extend the festival next year, Mr Ashworth said: “It’s just something we’re considering. Part of me feels like if it’s not broken don’t fix it but also a lot of people want to come on and have an extra day so you want to give the people an extra day.”

Click on the top image to view our gallery, taken by photographer Emma-Louise Precious.