While Homelands officially opened the festival season, there was an illegal rave going on in Herefordshire...

Thousands of people have travelled to HEREFORDSHIRE over the weekend for an illegal rave on farmland, with local residents complaining that 10,000 people are present, while police claim the number is closer to 3000.

The revellers descended on the site at Stretford Court, near Leominster, on Saturday night (May 24), and the rave is expected to wind up later today (May 26).

West Mercia Police are looking for the festival’s organisers, after local residents complained of excessive noise and traffic problems. The BBC reports that police have been turning people away who have tried to join the event, but no arrests have been reported, though one person is reported to have been taken to Hereford General Hospital suffering from the effects of drugs or alcohol.

Meanwhile the Homelands dance festival has kicked off the official festival season this weekend, at Matterley Bowl near Winchester. Up to around 38,000 people were expected to watch Chemical Brothers, The Streets and a host of DJs and dance acts at the festival, which ran from 1pm on Saturday (May 24) to 6am Sunday.

Specialist anti-drugs squad police officers were being deployed on the site, and a drugs amnesty – allowing people to hand in their drugs on the way into the site without prosecution – was being tried at the sixth annual dance event.