Medieval knights in shining armour descended on Loxwood Meadow on Saturday (August 4) for the launch of the medieval festival after a controversial events licence was granted.
Residents had previously expressed concerns about the impact on the quiet countryside location, traffic issues and the potential disturbance caused by noise.
“The fact is there are people in the village who are concerned we are going to see that develop into an event site and see various other events put on to that site in the future,” said Len Milsom, of the Loxwood Society.
However, the first event attracted around 2,000 visitors and was a huge success.
The Loxwood Joust saw a medieval Baebes choir, jousting and 15th-century re-enactments in a living history village take to the meadow.
Around 2,000 people enjoyed stepping into the 15th century, and were greeted by knights and court jesters.
They had the chance to soak up a host of medieval-themed activities, including hand-made crafts and medieval food, and to learn about the history of jousting.
Visitors also enjoyed canon displays and a live jousting arena.
Despite being cancelled due to rain early on Sunday morning (August 5), crowds flocked to the site to see what the new event had to offer.
“It was fantastically well received, what we have learnt is the site worked fantastically well.
“It is a beautiful site and it really gave visitors that feeling of going back in time into a different world,” said Maurice Bacon, organiser of the Loxwood Joust.
“The attendance we had has blown us away. In the six weeks we have had to promote it; it was such an incredible achievement and people absolutely loved it.”
The application for festival organisers to obtain a licence was granted in June.
“I would have thought it was an entertaining event, there was loud noise, but it wasn’t continuous,” added Mr Milsom.
“The traffic did not seem to be a problem. I think it would appeal more to children and families.”