One of our parish councillors has just spotted a notice on Facebook advertising a new summer festival to be held at Scholey Park. Shanti-Fest cheerfully announces it will be “The first of many to come” and claims that it “will be the UK’s first full weekend music festival run by a charity”.
After years of controversy surrounding the Alchemy Festival, held annually at the same venue until last year when it occupied a field even nearer our village, forgive me for smelling a rat.
I understand that as a result of breaching his licence conditions by playing music too loud last year, Alchemy organiser Geoff Gordon was charged with a criminal offence. Those who complained about noise nuisance last summer were also told by East Lindsey District Council officers that they would recommend rejection of any further applications made by or in the name of Alchemy. You may also have heard that at last year’s festival there was a fatality.
So here we go again. At the moment I don’t know if there is any connection between Alchemy and Shanti other than the common factor of Scholey Park, and I don’t know whether either festival has applied for a licence this year, but it seems to me that the Parish Council should now consult residents to assess the balance of opinion in the village, for or against further festivals within earshot, in order to be prepared for possible licence application hearings.
I intend to request that the matter be placed on the Agenda of the next Parish Council meeting, scheduled for March 3rd, but in the meantime, if you live in or near our village, please feel free to contact me to express your views in confidence about the prospect of yet more festivals: