Leeds Festival 2003 is GO!

This year's Leeds Festival will definitely go ahead, but may take place at a new venue - Bramham Park, a stately home 10 miles outside the city. The promotors will find out today whether or not they can hold the festival at the old venue (Temple Newsam)

After repeated trouble with local objections to the Temple Newsam Park site in recent years, as well as some arson and disturbances created by a very small minority, organisers Mean Fiddler lodged applications for a new site (Bramham Park) in addition to their standard application for the usual venue (Temple Newsam Park – probably the nicest festival location in Britain).

Following a lengthy meeting yesterday (13 May), the licence for the new venue was granted.

Leeds City Council warned: “The licence does, however, carry the condition that no camp fires must be lit within the licensed site, which comprises both the events area and the camp site.”

Councillor Jack Dunn, Licensing Panel chairman, said: “We have considered the proposals and the new security measures put in place by the applicant. The location seems satisfactory and the provisions for public safety seem satisfactory.

“We will now leave it to the multi-agency group which deals with the promoter in the run-up to the event to iron out any details over conditions.”

A hearing for Temple Newsam Park is scheduled for today.

This year’s event will be crucial in determining whether Leeds has a festival at all in future years, as the Council’s five-year agreement with Mean Fiddler to help them find a site expires in 2003.

Steve Jenner, Virtual Festivals‘ editor states, “No matter how many festivals we go to each year, we always look forward to Leeds to cap it all off in style. It is one of the best festivals in the world, and a big part of that is the location which is just perfect. To lose this unique event would be a trajedy, plain and simple.”