The licensing of next summer's Glastonbury Festival has been given a boost, after Mendip District Council met to review this year's event and described it as the 'best and safest ever'.
[r-zone1]The Licensing Board of Mendip District Council met on the evening of 22nd September to review the Glastonbury Festival 2004. Councillors considered a written report from the officers of the council, presented by Charles Uzzell, business manager for planning and environment at Mendip District Council, and reports from the other organisations involved, which included the Emergency Services, the Environment Agency and local Parish Councils.
In summary Charles Uzzell confimed:
• The event was very successful.
• The festival was thought by most to be the safest and best ever.
• The ‘milestone conditions’ were all satisfactorily met by the set deadlines.
• There were some breaches of the licence, the majority of which are considered to be minor. With regard to breaches related to night-time noise members were asked to consider what action should be taken. (There is still the risk that the festival could be prosecuted for this.)
• Council monitoring of the event was highly professional and comprehensive.
• The impact on local communities was considered to have improved from 2003, although it is recognized that the impact from noise was unacceptable.
• The multi-agency partnership working should be seen as an exemplar of major events such as this Festival.
• Many aspects of the event demonstrate the site to have been at, or very close to, capacity.
[l-zone2]Detail of the reports can be found on the Mendip District Council website, except the report by Pilton Parish Council, which was the most critical, highlighting problems for villagers with excessive noise levels, the use of the village as a festival access route and concerns about crime levels in the area post-event.
Former festival director Melvin Benn, who yesterday left the Mean Fiddler board, emphasised the progress that had been achieved in running the 2004 event and described the review as ‘upbeat’. While acknowledging that more needed to be done to manage noise above and beyond the interventions he made this year, he put the comparatively small number of complaints into context.
[r-zone3]With regard to Environmental Noise Control issue, councillors decided to see how the festival responded to this problem in the next licence application. The festival was been invited to submit proposals to the November Licensing Board on how the impact of amplified music on the local community would be dealt with at any future event to comply with Public Entertainment Licence conditions.
The response by the Festival will enable councillors to determine if it will be appropriate to prosecute the breaches of noise conditions relating to the 2004 Festival.
So it is a case of “watch this space” as the final part of the review of Glastonbury 2004 is addressed in the licence application for Glastonbury Festival 2005.