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Lymington music festival organisers to hold crunch talks with police after event preparation slammed

The music festival is planned for fields off Undershore in Lymington
The music festival is planned for fields off Undershore in Lymington

A LICENSING bid for a two-day music festival near Lymington has been withdrawn so the organisers and police can hold crunch talks over crime and disorder concerns.

Southern Vibrations has agreed to expand on its planning after Hampshire police criticised it over the lack of detail in its application for the weekend event.

A spokesperson told the A&T it will now work with the constabulary to make sure its next application is “fault-proof”.

They were “confident” the festival will open its gates as planned on the weekend of 4th and 5th of September on fields next to Undershore Road.

The delay follows Southern Vibrations having asked New Forest District Council for a temporary events notice (TEN) for a cultural and music event for over-18s featuring two stages, with music from 11am-11pm both days and alcohol served until midnight.

It added that no more than 499 people, including staff, would be on the site, with 175 car parking spaces and participants allowed to camp there overnight on the 4th.

But Hampshire police objected over fears that licensing objectives – including the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety – would be “undermined”.

The application was discussed at a NFDC licensing sub-committee meeting, where PC Mark Hawley slammed Southern Vibrations’ bid for “a total lack of thorough risk management or proper event planning”. He suggested it could even be a “blatant attempt to hide away a rave”.

There was no information about basic procedures such as security, alcohol policy, traffic management, whether patrons would have to pay, Covid-19 provisions or what music would be played – although the event’s Instagram page mentions reggae, house, techno and drum-and-base.

But PC Hawley told the organisers: “Please don’t get me wrong. I am not here to stop events from happening, I am here to make sure those events take place safely.”

Once a TEN application is submitted police have three days to respond, he explained, but Southern Vibrations did not respond to three attempts to contact the company to clarify the plan.

PC Hawley said police had had “little to no confidence” the event would have “nothing but a negative impact on the local area”. He added that when Hampshire police formally objected, his phone “rang off the hook” with calls from Southern Vibrations.

In response, Southern Vibrations director Piers Eveleigh agreed to work with police to help kickstart the event. He said confusion arose due to an incorrect email being listed for the firm, and he had left a voicemail for PC Hawley seeking advice.

The company spokesperson added: “The police have provided us some great resources and we know exactly how to approach the next steps to ensure the festival can go off without a hitch.”

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