Saturday, 22 February 2020

Residents oppose return of ‘noisy’ music festival

RESIDENTS of Gallowstree Common want to stop a music festival, saying it is too loud and attracts antisocial behaviour.

The third annual festival, called Around the Boundary, is due to take place on the village recreation ground on bank holiday Sunday, May 24.

It is run by and in aid of Kidmore End Cricket Club, which plays there, and the Chris Bevington Foundation, which funds projects that use music to improve the lives of children and young people.

Last year there was live music from a DJ and several bands. There were also food trucks, a coffee roaster and a bar.

The residents, led by Dianne Collins and Carolyn Kew, have asked Kidmore End Parish Council to stop the festival if the organisers do not listen to their concerns.

Ms Collins read a statement on their behalf at a council meeting. She said: “For the last two years, on the second May bank holiday Sunday, the cricket club, in conjunction with Around the Boundary, have hosted a music festival at the Diamond Jubilee Pavilion and recreation ground.

“This runs from 11am to 11pm with constant loud music. Previously there have been drunken guests outside the Reformation pub once the event has finished.

“The residents are unable to sit in their gardens and enjoy the holiday weekend with family as the music is all-pervasive.

“Last year one neighbour had to ask on three separate occasions for the volume of the music to be turned down.

“ In the past we have not had any individual prior notification of the event or apologies regarding noise levels. There are only posters at the recreation ground advertising the event.

“The advertisements state that ‘we are raising much-needed funds for local charities’. However, there is little information about what monies have been raised. Are there audited accounts? The only local organisation that benefits is the cricket club, which is not a registered charity.

“The event is, therefore, not for the benefit of the local community. Indeed, the advertised entertainment certainly does not have a wide appeal for many of the residents and few attend.

“Most importantly, this event is already being advertised online and tickets are available to buy.

“According to the website there are 2,000 adult tickets remaining, 1,000 children’s tickets and 1,000 family tickets with 2,000 parking spaces. This is a lot of people for a small village to accommodate. Does anyone from the council check that the appropriate insurance and licences for alcohol and live music is obtained? Should there be security and first aid available?

“The event this year is promising to be bigger and better. Does this mean louder and longer?

“A number of us are very concerned about this event taking place in its current format and strongly request that consent is not granted. We feel as the parish council that you have a duty to represent and protect our interest.”

Councillor Iain Pearson, who chairs the playing fields committee, said he would raise the residents’ concerns at its next meeting.

Caroline Aldridge, who chairs the parish council, said: “Obviously we will address this seriously. I do understand the noise was quite loud.”

• What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley or email letters@henleystandard.co.uk

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