Homeowners are looking to cash in when a major music festival arrives in their town.
Residents in Lewes are charging up to £2,000 to rent out their homes for the weekend in July when 25,000 folk fans are expected for a two-day festival featuring Grammy-award winners Mumford and Sons.
Hoteliers, B&B owners and campsite managers are also set to benefit from the huge demand, with some claiming they could have sold their available beds 50 times over.
Council officials say the town is well-placed to cope with such an influx of people with 15,000 camping spaces and 1,000 beds in the district. It is estimated the Mumford and Sons gig in Convent Fields on July 19-20 could bring up to £1.5 million into the local economy.
Organisers say the event is effectively sold out, although a small number of tickets are available on the concert website on a weekly basis.
Around a third of tickets have been bought by local residents but for those not attending the weekend could still turn out to be one to remember.
Homeowners have been using online forums to advertise their homes with one offering their five-bedroom house for £2,000 for the weekend Another homeowner asked any festival-goer to pay for electricity, water, gas, council tax and a contribution towards their mortgage.
Paul Myles said he could have sold out his six rooms at his Hill Road Studios 50 times over and said demand was even more “intense” than bonfire night which they sell-out a year in advance.
He said: “We sold out months ago even before tickets were released. We have had about five inquiries a day for weeks.
“People were ringing up out of desperation even though it said we were booked out, they were really struggling for places to stay.”
Nick Taylor of Housedean Farm said his campsite of 100 pitches sold out about a month ago and said he could have taken double that number of bookings.
He said: “We had a similar boost with Fatboy Slim at the Amex last year, it’s good for us and knock-on lift to a lot of other businesses.”
James Page, leader of Lewes District Council, said 50 local businesses have contacted the authority about getting involved in the event.
He said: “We are confident that the town and surrounding areas will be able to accommodate 25,000 people who will purchase tickets for the event.
“Some people already know about Lewes but this will really put us on the map.”
Trustees of the Mountfield Pleasure Ground Trust, which owns part of the festival site, approved for the staging of the event on Wednesday.
Lewes District Council’s licensing committee is expected to meet early next month to discuss the application.
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