Grassroots Feastival organisers quash security fears

PUBLISHED: 13:50 17 July 2010

ORGANISERS of a three-day music festival in Great Chesterford have reassured villagers that security at the event will be of “prime importance”.

Muddy Promotions has now submitted an application to Uttlesford District Council for a licence to hold The Grassroots Feastival – which could attract up to 1500 revellers – in Field Farm from September 3 to September 5.

Event manager Muneer Hassan said: “We are very proud that we have to date had no acts of violence or damage or trespass at any of our festivals in the four years we have been doing this.

“We will be employing 18 Security Industry Authority security guards to patrol the festival during licensed hours. These will also be working alongside the 50 or perhaps even 60 stewards that will patrol and set a friendly but safe atmosphere.

“The neighbouring properties to the site will have 24-hour stewarding to ensure no trespass or damage occurs. Stewards and security will be given vhf radios so that in the event of an incident the security team could be at any point on the site within two minutes.”

In response to comments made by the chairman of Great Chesterford Parish Council, Joanna Francis, in last week’s Reporter Mr Hassan said they had spent six months carrying out a comprehensive health and safety management plan.

He admitted that nothing was risk free, but said they were confident enough measures had been taken to deal with the threat of a fire. More than 30 fire extinguishers will be on site and some stewards will be fire trained.

“We also have watch posts at the highest points in the fields that will be manned 24 hours a day, and fires or barbeques will not be allowed except in a designated cooking area that will be fenced off.”

The organisers believe the festival could be a positive event for the whole community and local music and arts groups would be welcomed to get involved.

“Those who come and get into the spirit of this event, as it is intended, are bound to make new friends over the weekend,” said Mr Hassan.

“It will bring a new wave of art and music to the area and I believe that culturally this can only be a good thing. We would hope that if this event was to run again, that we would be welcomed back and have even more involvement from the local villagers.”

- A VILLAGE meeting will be held in Great Chesterford Community Centre at 7.30pm on Wednesday July 21 to give residents the chance to hold a frank and open discussion with the organisers of The Grassroots Festival.

A 28-day consultation period has now started to give people who live in village the opportunity to have their say on the event.

Comments should be sent to Licensing Department, Uttlesford District Council, London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4ER by August 4.

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