Greenbelt arts festival challenges allegations of noise and litter hell - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
April 13, 2004

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Greenbelt festival challenges allegations of noise and litter hell

-12/4/04

The Manager of the Greenbelt Festival has made a robust challenge to allegations carried by local press that Cheltenham residents faced "noise and litter hell" from festival goers.

This year's Greenbelt festival at Cheltenham racecourse, which will be attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, will see more visitors descend on the venue than in previous years. The Christian arts event, which will take place from August 27 to 30, has been granted a public entertainments licence for 17,500 people.

Last week however the Western Daily Press and the Gloucestershire Echo reported that local residents were concerned about "a repeat of last years unruly behaviour".

However it turns out that there were just three complaints lodged in association with the License hearing: one about misplaced litter, one about traffic and just one about noise coming from the campsite after hours.

"By Geroge Rowlinsonís own admission (The Chief Licensing Officer for the Borough Council) at the recent Licence hearing... Greenbelt pose no litter problem to the town whatsoever" said festival manager Paul Northup.

He continued; "OK, so hereís the noise complaint. Young people do have fun at Greenbelt. But we view drunken behaviour as unacceptable social conduct and reserve the right to ask people to leave it they are drunk on site. There is one licensed venue on the site during the Festival and that is, of course, a strictly over-18 venue."

"Undoubtedly young people do have fun late into the night. But we do patrol the campsites all night in an effort to keep noise to a minimum. And we also try to camp the majority of young people and youth groups together in a dedicated section of the site as far away from local residents as we can" he told Ekklesia.

Mr Northup admitted that there were traffic problems for one and a half hours last year on the Friday morning when the Festival first opened to the public. However, a full apology was made to local residents in a feedback meeting.

"This is the area we have done most work on ready for this year in order to satisfy the licensing committee and to minimise disruption this year" the festival manager said.

"This year we are using more access points onto the site and will be deploying a ferry-port system of traffic management whereby all traffic will be flowed off the public highways as priority into the site where we will then multiple-lane them and then filter them into the campsite areas."

This year's festival includes performances from rock band Lambchop and influential jazz musician Denys Baptiste.

There will also be classical music, film, visual arts and a series of talks and workshops.

Gloucestershire police, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and environmental health officers raised no objections to the Greenbelt's licence application.

Christian arts festival locals fear noise and litter hell

Greenbelt challenges allegations of noise and litter hell

Memorial for popular Greenbelt Festival speaker Mike Yaconelli announced

EA lays into popular Black theologian and Greenbelt Festival favourite over C4 documentary

Female clergy to make poverty history

Christian unity prayers focus on tsunami

Get a life over Springer, say Christians

Anglican diocese gives 100k for tsunami victims

Methodists affirm commitment both to tsunami victims and making poverty history

Greenbelt festival challenges allegations of noise and litter hell

-12/4/04

The Manager of the Greenbelt Festival has made a robust challenge to allegations carried by local press that Cheltenham residents faced "noise and litter hell" from festival goers.

This year's Greenbelt festival at Cheltenham racecourse, which will be attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, will see more visitors descend on the venue than in previous years. The Christian arts event, which will take place from August 27 to 30, has been granted a public entertainments licence for 17,500 people.

Last week however the Western Daily Press and the Gloucestershire Echo reported that local residents were concerned about "a repeat of last years unruly behaviour".

However it turns out that there were just three complaints lodged in association with the License hearing: one about misplaced litter, one about traffic and just one about noise coming from the campsite after hours.

"By Geroge Rowlinsonís own admission (The Chief Licensing Officer for the Borough Council) at the recent Licence hearing... Greenbelt pose no litter problem to the town whatsoever" said festival manager Paul Northup.

He continued; "OK, so hereís the noise complaint. Young people do have fun at Greenbelt. But we view drunken behaviour as unacceptable social conduct and reserve the right to ask people to leave it they are drunk on site. There is one licensed venue on the site during the Festival and that is, of course, a strictly over-18 venue."

"Undoubtedly young people do have fun late into the night. But we do patrol the campsites all night in an effort to keep noise to a minimum. And we also try to camp the majority of young people and youth groups together in a dedicated section of the site as far away from local residents as we can" he told Ekklesia.

Mr Northup admitted that there were traffic problems for one and a half hours last year on the Friday morning when the Festival first opened to the public. However, a full apology was made to local residents in a feedback meeting.

"This is the area we have done most work on ready for this year in order to satisfy the licensing committee and to minimise disruption this year" the festival manager said.

"This year we are using more access points onto the site and will be deploying a ferry-port system of traffic management whereby all traffic will be flowed off the public highways as priority into the site where we will then multiple-lane them and then filter them into the campsite areas."

This year's festival includes performances from rock band Lambchop and influential jazz musician Denys Baptiste.

There will also be classical music, film, visual arts and a series of talks and workshops.

Gloucestershire police, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and environmental health officers raised no objections to the Greenbelt's licence application.

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