Leeds license is rejected!

Leeds license is rejected!

Photographer: John Bownas18 June 2002

The festival, part of the Carling Weekend, was set to take place at its usual venue of Temple Newsam Park, at the same time as the Reading leg, over the weekend of August 23-25. The highlight was scheduled to be the headline appearance from Guns 'N Roses, who are not appearing  at Reading.

However, in scenes reminiscent of Glastonbury's license problems earlier in the year, the license was dramatically rejected.

A statement from the acting chair of the licensing and regulatory panel, attributed the refusal to a failure on the part of the organisers to make sufficient improvements to the 'control and management' of the festival site. At last year's Leeds festival, police in protective equipment were called in to control people throwing "stones and missiles" on the final night of the event, and setting fire to three toilet blocks. Local pressure demanded that  the festival be moved to a different location, due to the threat of repeated violence as well as the high levels of noise and litter created. 

An immediate appeal has been lodged to the Magistrate's Court. Melvin Benn, Managing Director of the Mean Fiddler, who organise the festivals, said in a statement they feel they should be judged on their preparations for 2002, not the events of last year.

He said: "The preparations for this year's event have gone well. The Police, the Fire Service, the Ambulance Service and all the Councillors have judged last year's event, rather than this year's application. It is an emotional judgement, but I am certain (it) will be overturned at the Magistrate's Court...I am certain that Leeds Festival goers need not worry about the future of the event. It will go ahead."

At the time of print, tickets for the festival remain on sale.

Stay posted for updates on this situation.

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