It's insisted that the likes of Reef and Therapy? are axed from the bill because of weather problems rather than poor ticket sales...

ESSENTIAL FESTIVAL organisers have denied poor ticket sales are behind the decision to shut down three stages for this weekend’s festival (May 4-6), showing the door to acts including REEF and THERAPY?.

They instead blame the weather saying heavy rain has left the areas of the site at Ashton Court, Bristol unsafe and “for health and safety reasons” decided to get rid of three planned tents and jettison a number of acts.

A spokesperson this afternoon (May 3) insisted that ticket sales were “healthy” for the three day event and that headliners such as Supergrass would appear as planned.

A statement from Essential reads: “The organiser went to the site on Tuesday and saw how much water the ground had soaked in and made the decision to close three of the Tents on the Rock Day for health and safety reasons. The natural amphitheatre at the site has created a few areas where the kind of activity created by moshing, crowd surfing and not least by the actual equipment on the stage would create a dangerous environment for festival goers.”

Organisers insist the changes will not affect the Dance Day (May 4) or Roots Day (6) when acts including Busta Rhymes, Orbital, De La Soul and James Brown are slated to appear.