D-Day for Fenland festival licence

TODAY (Wednesday) is decision day for pop event organiser Matthew Broadfield who faces cancelling Fenland’s first music festival if he fails to get the necessary licence.

A licensing hearing at Fenland Hall this afternoon is set to decide whether or not the festival, which aims to attract up to 3,500 revellers to the Grounds Auction Field in Knights End Road, March, can go ahead next month.

Mr Broadfield is confident that paperwork covering a multitude of aspects including a risk assessment, health and safety, access plans and noise issues is now up to scratch and will impress the licensing panel enough to grant the essential event licence.

He was shocked when Fenland council officials told him his paperwork was not detailed enough and that the police and health and safety officials had raised objections to his application as a result.

But since then he has gathered a team of experts including former police and fire officers, former environmental health officers and an owner of national stewarding and security company to help draw up revised documentation.

Inspector Rob Hill, March Sector Commander, raised his objections in a letter to the licensing department last month.

He claimed: “Issuing this licence will impact on the licensing objectives of crime and disorder and public safety.”

While Environmental Protection Officer Laura Bradley, wrote: “Environmental Health has representations due to the unsatisfactory measures in place regarding noise nuisance, health and safety and food hygiene.

“The information that has been provided is insufficient, noise nuisance has had little consideration, risk assessments are not site specific or provide a suitable level of detail, information is not focused on this event and the management plan does not consider the full three days or full hours the site will be occupied.”

She went on to say there was no detail about the location of speakers or what the sound levels are likely to be during the event, which is set to feature artists such as Simon Webbe from boy band Blue, garage duo Artful Dodger, DJ Luck and MC Neat and girl group Fe-nix.

Mr Broadfield, who has been planning the event since January, is hopeful that his efforts to meet all requirements will pay off today and he will get the licence.

But he added: “This is the final hearing, it is yes or no. If I have to cancel the event then under the terms and conditions everyone will get a full refund on their tickets. I have got a shop in the town and I’m not going to mess about, I am not in the business of ripping people off.”