AWP does Festivals 2018

Photo taken from a hillside looking down at a colourful stretch tent with people dancing at Shindig Weekender 2017

We’re looking forward once more to festival season 2018. We’re currently involved in 4 festivals this coming Summer and always willing to help those in need!

SHINDIG WEEKENDER, May 25th-27th 2018

Expect more of the same from this excellent event, which blends dance music with a family-friendly, creative atmosphere. Set in the rolling Somerset hills, Shindig offers a great range of live entertainment, DJs, crafts, circus performance and fun kids activities to enjoy over the weekend. All this plus amazing quality street food and a range of bars selling all kinds of pleasures over the counter.

Book tickets and find out more at

OFF GRID FESTIVAL, August 10-13 2018

Off Grid Festival is visualized as a deep exploration of community living, creativity and consciousness; an intimate environment in which to share skills, trade knowledge, impart wisdom and make a difference. Four days out of the world to get into changing our world. The organisers think of it as an experimental innovation lab for a new paradigm of economic, ecological and community thought, a radical gathering of empowered people making a difference in their lives and celebrating emergent culture.

Book tickets and find out more at

FIELD TRIP PARTY, July 27th-30th 2018

Returning for it’s second year at Gilcombe Farm, Bruton, Field Trip Party is a home for uk dance music , spanning right across the genres frome Drum & Bass , Garage , Dub step , House , Techno , Hip Hop plus so much more. With 5 venues running late into the night, Field Trip offers a great adults-only experience.

Book tickets and find out more at

ONE LOVE FESTIVAL, August 31st-2nd September 2018

At the forefront of the UK Reggae scene for over 11yrs – Paving the way and setting the example – One Love is ‘The Reggae People’s Festival of un-dividing peace and un-conquering love’. They create a reggae world that allows you to submerge yourselves within it completely where everyone is welcome and no-one’s judged – an atmosphere of acceptance where there are no borders – One People, One World.

Book tickets and find out more at

Jan 17, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on AWP does Festivals 2018

AWP launches Goffin Land Weddings

Goffin Land is a 96-acre hidden valley, a peaceful haven on the edge of the bustling city of Exeter. Operated as a community farm and home to the Biophilia Project and Off Grid Festival, Goffin seeks to be an oasis for social and ecological change, providing access to land for those in need and nurturing mind, body and soul.
With nearly a hundred acres of meadows and woodland to enjoy, yet easily accessible from Exeter and major transport routes, Goffin Land is the perfect location for those seeking to get married in a unique, natural and eco-friendly way, surrounded by the beautiful outdoors.
Goffin can easily host up to 250 guests including overnight camping for those wishing to go for the full wedding weekend experience.The events team at Goffin can help plan couples’ special day and ensure it is made as easy for them as possible – we particularly specialise in creating a ‘festival’ feeling to weddings and making bespoke, magical environments to explore and enjoy.

The centrepiece of the venue is a striking 2-storey timber frame barn that provides a fantastic space for wedding receptions and meals, with a fitted stage available for music and dancing into the evening. Upstairs is a chill-out lounge replete with cushions, low tables, atmospheric lighting and rugs.  We provide rustic tables and seating, wedding decor, plus a PA system for wedding bands and DJs to use. Compost Toilets are provided onsite along with a disabled loo and wood-fuelled showers in a kitted out shepherds wagon.

There is a special area in the woodland, alongside the babbling Pin Brook and a specially created amphitheatre available for ceremonial use. This wedding venue is very child-friendly and activities can be laid on – from big games to bushcraft to archery – for all ages through our partnership with Sylvan Adventures.
Wedding Packages vary in price from around £4500 upwards including use of the barn, amphitheatre, woodland, camping and more. Catering and bar packages also available.
So if you’re looking for somewhere eco-friendly, fun, festivally to get married, why not consider Goffin Land your home for the weekend?
Visit our Venues page for more information about weddings at Goffin Land. Or visit the new Facebook Page.
Goffin Banner
Jan 16, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on AWP launches Goffin Land Weddings

Off-Grid Festival 2016


We’re super-excited to announce that, subject to a successful Crowdfunder campaign, Off-Grid Festival will be returning in 2016 with an all new event. The festival will take place from August 11th to 14th at the new Biophilia Project on Goffin Land near Exeter, Devon with a limited capacity of just 300 tickets!

Off Grid Festival ran for 6 years between 2009 and 2014 at venues in and around Somerset. It was visualized as a deep exploration of community living, creativity and consciousness; an intimate environment in which to share skills, trade knowledge, impart wisdom and make a difference. Four days out of the world to get into changing our world. We think of it as an experimental innovation lab for a new paradigm of economic, ecological and community thought, a radical gathering of empowered people making a difference in their lives and celebrating emergent culture.

Over the years the festival has educated and informed thousands of people about the skills and knowledge required for a low-impact ‘off-grid’ lifestyle. Off Grid is a hands-on, fully participatory experience. We recognise that each and every person who attends has something to share – be that knowledge, skills, wisdom, music or whatever else take their fancy. There’s nothing quite like it out there and we want it to return in 2016. We hope you do too!

Off-Grid 2016 is the essential event for all those interested in off-grid living and will feature:

The Off-Grid College * 3 Days of Inspiring Conferences and Forums * Crafts and Technology Village * Live Music * Organic, Locally-Produced Food and Drink * Gaia Dome * Wildwoods Camp * Organic Bar * Kids Area and Forest School * Therapies * Permaculture Gardens 

Skills and Knowledge covered will include:

Eco-Build Skills * Traditional Crafts * DIY Technologies * Permaculture and Organic Food Production * Foraging * Natural Medicines * Waste Water Treatment * Composting * New Economics * Democracy and Politics * One Planet Living * Low Impact Law * Community Living * Cooperatives * Community Activism * Smallholding and much much more…

To help make this 2016 event happen, we’re launching a Crowdfund Campaign where you can support us by purchasing tickets at a range of prices; making larger investments or just offering a small supportive donation. We need to raise £6000 to ensure that the core costs of the event are covered and also to demonstrate that there is sufficient support available in terms of people wishing to attend the festival.

The Crowdfunder will be live here from Monday March 13th:-

Or visit the Off-Grid Website:-

If you want to participate in Off-Grid 2016, support the Crowdfunder or get involved in some way, please get in contact:

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Mar 9, 2016 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Off-Grid Festival 2016

Off-Grid Festival Site in Portugal

Another World Productions are excited to have been asked to get involved with an established rural regeneration project in Portugal, Vale Das Lobas. AWP are helping facilitate the purchase of a beautiful site ideal for small off-grid festivals, camps, ceremonies and gatherings called Dolmens Farm. We will be looking to create a co-operative or land trust to hold the land on behalf of a group of event and activity organisers interested in being part of the project.

The Project

The Seminario

The Seminario

Vale Das Lobas (meaning Valley of the She-Wolves) is a remarkable rural regeneration and peace project in the heart of Portugal. VdL was set up in 2009 as a 100 hectare community venture that includes affordable eco-housing, permaculture and forest gardening, campsite, restaurant, biodiversity centre and organic chestnut farm.

The centerpiece of the community is the amazing Seminario, which is complemented by a historic chapel, and which is being transformed into a conference/retreat/medicine centre and spa hotel. The whole of VdL is situated on the site of ancient ruins with an incredible spiritual history. Various plots have been sold and are for sale, with planning permissions for eco-homes and other structures.


For more details on Vale Das Lobas, please visit their website:

The Site

The Ancient Dolmen

The Ancient Dolmen

Dolmen Farm is a 20+ acre situated at 800m altitude incorporating 4 hectares of fields and meadows and 4 hectares of forest, along with wells and springs. The farm, alongside it’s sister, Dolmen Cottage, which is also included in the purchase, acts as the gateway to the ancient ‘Dolmen De Cortico’, an important sacred site. The site has permission for an Off-Grid home, workshop space plus the right to rebuild the existing cottage and barn. Most excitingly, the Local Authority have agreed to permit the site to be used for camps, gatherings and small festivals, as well as other leisure purposes including a village of yurts, tipis, treehouses or other temporary structures.

Dolmen Farm forms a key part of the Vale Das Lobas project, with the closest neighbors including another micro-project, Shamans’ Retreat, run by the past owner of Pacha Mamas Chai Tipi, as seen at many of our events. The plan is for the farm to host a range of festivals, gatherings, camps and retreats across the year and to be shared collaboratively by either a co-operative system of ownership or a Land Trust model.

For details on Dolmen Farm, visit:

The Situation

We have now put down a 15000 Euro deposit on the land (£11,000), which will cost just 95000 Euros in total to purchase. Vale Das Lobas were in need of urgent funds and in danger of losing certain parts of the project if this was not achieved, however thanks to your support, this has now happened. Our purchase of Dolmen Farm will preserve both this wonderful pristine site, and the integrity of the project as a whole.

In order to raise the rest of the funds, we will be approaching our networks, social investors, other event organisers, etc, to come together and buy this land in full over the next months. We have some key investors on side already which is great news and means we can be extremely confident about the rest of the purchase happening in the agreed time.

Once we raise the required funds, we will be aiming to complete a full purchase of the property by Spring 2016 and begin planning a programme of events, activities and more, with you, our supporters.

More details of this exciting project will follow soon. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more, or even being a partner/co-owner of the farm, please get in touch:

Jan 14, 2016 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Off-Grid Festival Site in Portugal

Transition Network Conference a big success

Another World Productions have just had the honour of Project Managing this year’s Transition Network International Conference. Transition Network is the charity behind the world renowned ‘Transition Towns’ Movement, a movement that begin in 2005 in Totnes in the UK and has since encircled the globe with over 1400 known initiatives and a network of nearly 30 National Hubs ranging from Chile to Australia to Japan to Spain to Norway and onwards.

AWP were brought in to Project Manage the Network’s first wholly International Conference, an event that was aimed at deepening and strengthening connections between the core UK-based team and the growing international face of Transition. With representatives from over 35 countries in attendance at the Conference, this was a unique opportunity for the Network to come face to face with itself and reflect on the journey so far and what the future would hold, whilst gaining a greater understanding of how Transition was shaping up across the Planet.

Given the global significance of this grassroots gathering, it was an honour and privilege to be invited to work with Transition Network to produce this event and ensure it was the success it had the potential to be. AWP Director, Dan Hurring, spent nine months working on the project to ensure that what was delivered was of a quality that reflected the ambitions of the Network and our own shared principles.

Thankfully, we can report that the event was a huge success. What unfolded was a landmark gathering of grassroots activists from a diversity of cultures that is rarely encountered in the social change scene. Attendees were treated to a wide range of workshops covering everything from organisational structure (Sociocracy) to Flatpack Democracy courtesy of Peter Mcfadyen of Independents for Frome, via sessions on Conflict Resolution, Creative Community Engagement and Common Cause – the latter covering the fascinating and important topic of Frames and Values in our modern society. Other sessions built on Transition Network’s successful REconomy Project, a programme that is helping support, design and deliver new ‘Transition’ Enterprises and New Economic Models. These sessions delved into the work of REconomy including its Local Entrepreneur Forums and its recent foray into and exploration of Post-Crash Economies in Spain and Portugal in particular.

In all, the event attracted around 350 attendees ranging not only in nationality but also in age, purpose and profession. AWP encountered individuals from all walks of life including an Italian MP, a German Banking Consultant and a number of journalists from EU and North American press in particular. With Fringe events including a Young Adults Gathering and TNs annual gathering of National Hubs, the Conference was bubbling with creative potential, ideas, innovations and excited conversations as new relations were made.

Dan Hurring, AWP Director, said:

“For me, being involved in this project represented everything that I am involved in events for. The Conference was a dynamic melting pot of emergent thought involving hundreds of switched-on, active citizens from 30+ nations all involved in social change and environmental movements in their countries. I am glad to say that AWP delivered what it set out to, helping to co-create an environment where new connections could be made, where seeds could be planted to later germinate, and where everybody attending got to share in and feel a lot of love.”

He goes on,

“We work hard as an organisation to deliver both professionally produced events and events that are unique, transformational and into which we pour love, care and attention to ensure that they are a success for our clients, whoever they are.”

For more information on the Transition Network Conference, you can visit:

Or check out the website:

Sep 26, 2015 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Transition Network Conference a big success

Wonder Fields Festival

Another World Productions confirmed to support Wonder Fields Festival

Another World Productions will be helping to promote the excellent Wonder Fields Festival over the coming weeks. Wonder Fields is a new and beautiful festival by Alice De Haan and the team behind Wonder Bars.

To be held from 17th – 19th July near Exeter, Devon, Wonder Fields features acts including Dub Mafia, Gypsy Unit and Mad Apple Circus. Its going to be a riot!

Visit for more information

side Aside B

Jun 4, 2015 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wonder Fields Festival

Quest Promotional Packages now available!

Quest Festival Promotional Pack Opportunity!

For nearly 20 years, Quest Festival has been one of the leading Mind Body Spirit events in the UK. With attendances regularly topping 5000, Quest blends MBS with music and dance to create a festival like no other, held over a long weekend of healing & therapy, workshops, talks, exhibitions and live concerts. Quest has a loyal fan-base and a high profile, especially across the South West.

Quest is having a year-off in 2015 which means our regular attendees and wider network have a big void in their midst! To help with this, we’re able to offer 3 events, product or services of like-mind and intention the opportunity to reach our networks via our mailing list, social media accounts, website and press list.


Package One: Available to ONE EVENT only

  • Single Mailshot to our mailing list of 4500
  • A focused month-long campaign inc. up to 3 promoted posts to our Facebook network and additional Twitter activity
  • A banner on our website
  • A Press Release to our Press List including over 150 publications across the South West and UK specialist press
  • A mailshot to our specialist list of 850 therapists and exhibitors


Package Two:

  • Single Mailshot to our mailing list of 4500
  • 2 promoted posts to our Facebook network and 3 Tweets plus additional support
  • A banner on our website
  • A Press Release to our Press List of over 150 contacts


Who would this opportunity suit?

  • Mind Body Spirit Exhibitions, Festivals and Fairs
  • Alternative grassroots and green festivals and events
  • Mind Body Spirit Businesses, Products and Services
  • Aligned organizations in the South West of England

Whats next?

Get in touch!

If you think there may be some interest or usefulness for you, then send us an email and lets see if we can make something happen! Bespoke packages can be made available.

Contact Name: Dan Hurring


Phone: 07792 353864

May 6, 2015 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Quest Promotional Packages now available!

Festivals in Transition

This article first appeared on the website of Virtual Festivals in May 2011 written by Daniel Hurring, one of AWPs Directors. It reflects accurately our beliefs around festival sustainability and steps needing to be taken to embrace the principles of movements such as the Transition Network.

Festivals in Transition

By Daniel Hurring

The principles of Transition are laid down by Rob Hopkins, the founder. A Transition Initiative is a community working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this question:

“For all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

As temporary communities, festivals experience many of the same issues as their more permanent counterparts. Issues such as water, waste, food and energy with large populations to house, administer and entertain. As the UK prepares for a Transition to a low carbon society, the festival scene must do the same.

Sunrise does not necessarily subscribe to the ideas of man-made Climate Change and Peak Oil. It does not reject them either. We try always to practice balance and reject dogmatic thinking, accepting that human knowledge is limited and flawed and that we only ever know part of the picture. We do however believe that this is a time of Transition, that things are changing rapidly and in a way as yet unforeseen. That great challenges await us, and great opportunities, perhaps the dawning of a new paradigm, perhaps an evolution of what already exists. We believe this is happening on a spiritual as well as physical level but that the length of this process is not yet clear – Universal Cycles can be quite large!

Whilst our view may differ from Rob Hopkins in some fundamental aspects, the principles of Transition remain just as relevant for us – community resilience and localisation of resources are two things we subscribe to entirely. Festivals are ephemeral communities, reflections of their static counterparts. Over the course of a week, festivals will encounter many of the same issues that permanent settlements do in a more intensified fashion, so many of Transition’s solutions also apply here.

Festivals have historically been celebrated at key points in the year, in connection with key alignments and turning seasons. They have acted as gathering points for tribes, communities and cultures. They are places where peoples have gathered, met and shared, where skills are passed on, where trade is made and ideas disseminated. Festivals still are all these things. They are more than the sum of their parts and their value is immense and intangible.

When we look at a festival, we cannot judge it just on its carbon, but on its ability to create change, to inspire and heal, to act as a cultural hub bringing people together. That is how we look at Sunrise. Nonetheless, the sustainability of an event is still important – those events which are most in harmony with the Earth are those likely to last through these days.

It is said that festivals are by nature sustainable. People attending festivals, by and by, use a lot less energy, water and so forth than they would at home. However, at the same time, the infrastructural production of an event can be massive and costly and, in the likely near future, unfeasible. Modern festivals have been built squarely on the shoulders of cheap oil and like all communities and businesses festivals must adapt or die!

Festivals need to transition away from the status quo whilst there is still time. The reliance on heavy industrial process in production is in contradiction to many of their stated aims. An obvious candidate for change is the reliance on generators and the demands on these from ever growing PA systems and stage equipment, fuelled by the music industry’s egoistic desire for Bigger and Brighter productions. However, beyond that are the massive waste operations and the vast level of waste produced, the consumption levels of attendees, the wastage produced from packaging, the unregulated use of water, the cheap disposable camping items and so much more…If anybody has ever seen the build of a large festival, it takes away a little of the glamor knowing that it was built over weeks with cranes, forklifts and tractors working around the clock. A new paradigm is necessary in the way we produce events and what we expect from them.

More sustainable ways are possible. Transport options can be widened, alternative energies can be used. Supply streams can be localised – From infrastructure to food through to the audiences themselves. There is perhaps the need to change the paradigm of festivals entirely. Off-Grid, our sister event, is a small gathering with a localised audience and a localised resource base – from the content through to the infrastructure. We use recycled materials, we crowdsource our presenters from local networks. There is an argument that large festivals are unsustainable, as large cities are, and that perhaps Small really is more Beautiful.

Sunrise has an ambition. Our aim, over the next few years, is to transition to a new form of event. We wish to have a permanent site where we can develop infrastructure that stays, rather than shipping it in once a year. We aim to plant reedbeds for waste water, build permanent compost loos and showers, provide food from our own permaculture gardens, compost food waste onsite, harvest rainwater, collect our own energy. We see a live-in community, organic farming, community energy generation, a social enterprise hub, crafts units, education centre, sustainable housing and much more. With a permanent base, festivals can successfully make a Transition to something more harmonious to the needs of our planet.

My belief is that change is necessary for all of us. Sunrise has always taken steps to being a true ‘Green’ event, but we still have a long way to go. I am working on a project to provide a Transition Manifesto to festivals, where organisers commit to making changes and moving to a goal of resilience and sustainability. Its important that festival organisers are engaged in the principles of Transition and apply them to their events. Festivals have always inspired change and are a great way to show whats possible to a large audience who can take it home with them. Festivals should be a powerful voice for change. However, change can only come by being the change we wish to see in the world. We, as festivals, need to take seriously our role in society, understanding that often we are cultural leaders. Festivals have always been at the forefront of consciousness – exploring the fringes, celebrating the grassroots. The culture experienced at many festivals is utopian, a model for the wider society. Adopting the principles of Transition is one way we can take this further.

Jan 3, 2015 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Festivals in Transition

The Art of Transformation

Another World Production specialise in the creation of transformational spaces, either for private clients, as part of existing events or, in some cases, with the curation of whole events. We view the Art of Transformation as a key reason for our existence and love making space for it to occur within bespoke builds and installations.

By Transformation, we refer here to the possibility of meaningful beneficial change in the behaviour, outlook or understanding of a person or organisation. The corporate term for this might be Change Management! In order to induce this change in state, AWP uses a blend of techniques and technologies with a whole heap of creative magic thrown in. Its a subtle art with a little bit of Hogwarts to it…

AWP utilises technologies such as Audio-Visual equipment alongside traditional, natural elements such as fire and water to generate unique environments for people to play within. We also utilise site art as a means of generating an overall aesthetic. The careful placement of sculpture, lanterns, carved posts, flags, flowers and the like can help direct a subconscious journey for the participant. It is these interlocking elements, melded often with an appropriate soundtrack, that form the vessel within which magic can occur.

Branching Arts Decor

 Whilst aesthetic plays a key role in the creation of any space, the most important element is the atmosphere created within. Whilst the form of the vessel is important in this – and plays a key role in transforming what can be an ordinary venue into something quite extraordinary – it is what you place within that is the key.

AWP like to create spaces that are welcoming, open and safe, where participants can express themselves within, where an interactive journey can take place – be that for education, entertainment or inspiration – and where transformation can occur.

For an example of the subtle art of transformation, I refer often to an experience I had at a major UK festival. This festival had spent into six figures on art and lighting to make the whole site glow and to create intriguing nooks and crannies everywhere to explore and enjoy. Except it felt…soulless…plastic. The sense I had was of art for arts sake and with no real purpose or attention to a sense of place. In fact, the art often overwhelmed what was a naturally beautiful site and seemed at odds with it, rather than embracing it. I felt like I was in a Disneyland Festival rather than Alice in Wonderland, which I believe was more the effect sought.

The Art of Transformation is subtle. Its roots are in the rituals, ceremonies and celebrations of the ancient past; in techniques used by the priestesses, shamans and mystics to induce states of worship or divine revelation; in the stories and song spun at sea, or around the hearth or deep in the wildwoods; in the construction of stone circles, temples, churches and other sacred places, or of the grand Roman Colosseum or Greek Parthenon. Its relevance, though, remains to this day. From campaign messages to raise awareness of Climate Change through to the need to create a more sensitive, active and harmonious workplace; through to a desire for your friends and family to have a memorable experience to take home with them, transformation is an essential tenet of events of all kind.

Nov 18, 2014 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Art of Transformation

The Importance of Community Liaison

This blog article was first written for RHEnvironmental’s Licensing Forum. RHEnvironmental are one of the UKs leading bodies for regulatory information, including that around Premises Licenses. I wrote a guest blog for several months in 2013.

This was first published on the forum in April 2013.

The Importance of Community Liaison in a Premises License Application for Music Festivals and Other Outdoor Events

Community Liaison is an area of licensing that is often overlooked by inexperienced applicants but the significance of which can never be underestimated. When one is looking to bring a large outdoor event into a particular area, be that rural or urban, the potentials for disturbance and impact on local residences should not be underestimated. Given this, it is vital that an applicant spend a suitable amount of time in consultation with permanent inhabitants of an area, taking into account their views and, wherever possible, balancing them against their own need to produce a viable, attractive and safe event.

In preparing for a Premises License application for a music festival or similar event, it is of value to see local residents as vital stakeholders in the project, in the same way that the Responsible Authorities, ticket buyers and crew members are held to be so. Though residents often have a limited impact on the result of applications it is important that any potential applicant be willing and ready to change their event management plan to accommodate the more reasonable and addressable areas of resident concern. This should be built into contingency planning.

Often, residents of a community can provide highly valuable local information, sometimes things unknown to an applicant, especially if they’re from outside the area as is often the case with the producers of outdoor events. Finding friends within a community can also be a vital line of information about how other residents are viewing the event as well as providing the opportunity of unofficial spokespersons representing the other side of the coin, should there be a lot of local opposition. Similarly, identifying key members of a community at an early stage is also important, as these should often be approached first.

In my experience, support often comes from those you least expect to find it from. In our most recent license application, we were warned of a gentleman on the access road who would inevitably prove a massive thorn in our side. Yet, upon first meeting, giving him the due respect to hear his concerns and meet him on a level meant that he quickly became one of our surest allies. Appearances – and hearsay – can often be deceiving!

Lets be honest, it is sometimes difficult to take seriously the views of some local residents. Some opinions expressed are deeply uninformed and anybody familiar with licensing multiple music festivals will know that the range of representations against an event emanating from any community will often take a few particular forms. The primary representations revolve around:

Noise Levels: Concerns that the event will cause large-scale disturbance across a wide area by the creation of excessive levels of music-noise. Suspicions that Environmental Health Officers are conspiring with the festival organisers to fix decibel levels at unacceptable heights in order to reduce the population and cause grievous damage to buildings, livestock and people. Unwillingness to believe that noise levels can be controlled or that they will be.

Crime & Disorder: That the event will lead to increased levels of off-site crime, particularly burglary, alcohol- and drug-fuelled violence and – of slightly less magnitude in law but of often deep concern for residents – unauthorised parking. The latter subject includes concerns over shaggy haired travellers, trapped in an anachronistic vortex emanating from Stonehenge 1985, marauding over local fields with their endless wave of carbunculous caravans and mechanically-unsound buses.

Traffic: That the roads will be filled with unskilled – and largely intoxicated – drivers aiming to score points by knocking over local residents, crashing into their vehicles, ignoring road signs and generally lacking in common decency. Concern that other traffic will ignore said road signs also, leading to mass devastation and loss of life.

Alcohol and Drugs: By their nature, festivals are considered to be – as Obi Wan Kenobi once put it – ‘wretched hives of scum and villainy’. Here, smiling but conniving bar managers will ply their – likely underage – visitors with dangerous levels of alcohol before pushing them out into the night to face the unending temptations offered by shady drug pushers lying in wait between every marquee. Once drugged, these victims will soon find their way out of the festival, over security fences and through the inevitably inadequate perimeter security arrangements, and into the local community. Here they will seek their pleasure by terrorising the local victuallers establishment, biting victims and attempting to stop cars on local highways by the power of their minds.

Whilst the above descriptions are meant to be taken in good humour, they each hold a nugget of truth as to where concerns can expect to be raised and where an applicant must be ready to show best practice through their event management plan and through their willingness to listen and respond. Its best, when meeting these objections from a local community, to recognise that these will always exist in the face of a new event and are to be treated as genuine feeling. The good news is that licensing committees are generally made up of experienced members of Council who have usually heard it all before and are able to make discerning judgements between representations with value and those without.

Our recommendation to any event organiser is to ensure that you have plenty of cards up your sleeve when setting out on your community liaison. Consider the value of a Community Liaison Officer and/or community safety patrol. Offer a resident hotline where they can reach you or a suitable deputy/office through the event. Develop a proper noise management strategy with a qualified acoustics consultant that ideally offers realistic and achievable conditions on music noise levels. Use marshals in the local area to dissuade unauthorised parking as well as raise funds for local voluntary groups. Hold local meetings with residents and the parish/borough/town council – these groups can feel excluded from the official licensing process and you approaching them willingly can only be perceived as a good thing.

During the last consultation period for licensing reform, ‘Rebalancing the Licensing Act’, much was made of the need to give local communities and interested parties more influence over licensing decisions that were likely to affect them. Though little has changed in essence, these areas of consultation mirror the real and perpetuating concerns that a need isn’t being met for those who can be impacted by events such as festivals (and other licensable activities – from clubs to pubs to late night caterers). By taking positive steps towards engaging communities, identifying stakeholders and taking a constructive approach to dealing with emerging issues, event organisers show best practice and ensure that they will be looked upon in a better light when it comes to the Premises License decision.

Nov 17, 2014 | Posted by in Uncategorized | 1,803 comments
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