THE organisers of a four-day Mod and Ska festival have dismissed criticism that it is not the first event of its kind after being inundated with bookings.
Mike Jinks said within 48 hours of tickets going on sale for the Great Northern Mod and Ska Festival, hundreds of fans of the music genres, from Glasgow to London, had booked tickets for the event at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, near Bedale, North Yorkshire, from August 28.
He said the event's website had received more than 5,000 hits and much of the interest had come from the North-East.
"We have been very busy since announcing the festival, there has been a lot of interest and the early bird tickets have almost run out."
The festival, which is aimed at families, will feature 30 acts, including The Selecter, Craig Charles and Bad Manners alongside a scooter cavalcade around part of last year's Tour de France route, a fairground, a range of children's activities and a show and shine scooter contest.
Mr Jinks said that while the overwhelming reaction to the festival had been positive, there had been criticism of the event being described as Britain's first major festival for Mod and Ska music fans, of the dates chosen to stage it and that it was being run to profit from the revival in the music's popularity.
While there were a number of other popular events dedicated to the scene, such as Skamouth and the Stone Valley Festival, at Stanhope, Mr Jinks said the Great Northern festival was the first large-scale outdoor summer music festival of its type with camping.
He said the organisers had conducted extensive market research, calling every scooter club in the country to gauge their opinions, 90 per cent of which were positive in their responses about the dates.
The former music teacher who also runs Richmond Live, said: "Whilst we knew that this event would attract a lot of people from the scooter scene, this is not a scooter rally in itself, it is a music festival.
"Someone accused us of being outsiders cashing in on the scene.
"I've been a Mod since I was 15, crashed my first scooter when I was 17, outside Richmond School.
"We organise these events because we love music, if we make a profit, great, but it's not what drives us."