CURRY RIVEL LIVE: Somerset festival cancelled
A family-friendly Somerset music festival has had its licence revoked following an objection by the police.
Curry Rivel Live has been held in the village near Langport every summer since 2013, barring last year where the coronavirus pandemic prevented it from going ahead.
The event was due to make a comeback on July 24 under new management, but Avon and Somerset Constabulary lodged a formal complaint against the event being granted a temporary licence.
South Somerset District Council has now revoked the event’s licence in light of this objection – meaning this year’s festival will have to be cancelled.
Curry Rivel Live was originally the brainchild of local resident Simon Champion, who ran the event with his wife Kirstine before their recent relocation to the Canary Islands.
The event has been taken over by Brett Ashworth of Yeovil-based firm Wizard Marquees and Events, which staged the Flashback Festival at the Yeovil Showground in late-May.
The council’s licensing sub-committee met virtually on Thursday morning (June 17) to discuss the issues with Wizard’s event management plan.
Police licensing officer Nicola King was deeply critical of Mr Ashworth, claiming his application contained numerous errors – including the wrong site address and conflicting information about how the Challenge 25 policy would be enforced.
She said: “It is clear that the documents submitted to support this temporary event notice consists of many cut-and-paste issues, which creates confusion.
“It contains various errors and inaccuracies, and it has not been proof-read. It is clear that this document has just been rushed to pay lip service to various agencies.
“The application doesn’t state what will happen with a lost child on the site. How will the site be locked down and security staff deployed?
“We do not believe, on this occasion, that this plan reflects the licensing objectives.”
Mr Ashworth admitted that there were “some errors” in the event management plan which “need further work”.
He also referenced “possible legal action” by the police against his company in relation to the Flashback Festival – though he would not go into further details during the public session.
He added: “If things don’t go back to normal on July 19, we will cancel this.
“We can guarantee there will be no more than 499 people on-site at any one time – and if we have to adjust ticket numbers, we will do it.
“We can work with the police like we always do to make sure they are happy. If they’re not happy with everything on-site, I will cancel the festival. I want people to be happy and safe with everything we do.”
The committee adjourned for less than ten minutes to discuss the issues before announcing that the temporary licence for Curry Rivel Live would be revoked.
Councillor Crispin Raikes, who chaired the committee, said: “Although we like to see these community events go ahead, we do not feel that on this occasion we can grant this notice – and therefore it is being refused.”
Words: Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporter
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