Chichester Festival Theatre raises noise concerns over Pub in the Park festival
Concerns have been raised that noise from Pub in the Park, a three-day food and music festival, could have ‘potentially severe consequences’ for plays taking place at theatres in Chichester.
The council’s Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Sub-committee is due to consider whether to grant a license for the festival, which hopes to come to Chichester’s Oaklands Park in May.
Permission is being sought for alcohol to be sold at the event from 5pm to 10.30pm on Friday, and from 11am to 10.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Live music would be played outside until 10.45pm each evening, according to the application made by Brand Events TM Limited.
According to a report, the council’s Environmental Protection Team has asked for a Noise Management Plan to be submitted by organisers for approval prior to the festival.
Members of the team are set to liase with consultants on site and agree adequate noise controls for the event before the plan is drawn up.
But Chichester Festival Theatre has raised concerns about the effect of noise from the festival on its productions.
While it welcomed the idea of this kind of event in the city and said it sounded like a ‘fabulous addition to the Chichester year’, it was concerned the ‘noise bleed from the live music into the Theatre auditoriums could be hugely disruptive’.
It asked to be included in and consulted on site visits for noise management controls, as it said: “Once the event is on site, it will be impossible to regulate the noise.”
It also implored the council to explore other dates and locations for the event.
Kathy Bourne, Executive Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, told the Observer: “We are currently having discussions with Pub in the Park and the council and very much hope that, together, we can work out a solution that suits everyone.
“As we said in our submission, we do support the idea of an event such as this coming to Chichester; our concern is solely for our audiences who, having paid for their tickets, expect to enjoy a production without noise interruptions.’
A letter in support of the event has also been submitted for consideration.
Daryl Bowen, a local food business operator, wrote: “I strongly support this application.
“The previous events have been amazing and I think that it would greatly improve the city, as a destination and a foodie destination.”
Pub in the Park has already announced its line-up for the Chichester event, which would take place from May 29 to 31.
The following pop-up pubs are due to hold stalls: The Hand & Flowers, The Kentish Hare, The Half Moon Inn, Tim Allen Flitch of Bacon, Café Spice Namaste and The Hardwick.
A spokesman said the festival supports and celebrates local talent, as well as presenting some of the biggest names in food and music.
The committee is due to consider the application at a meeting at 10am on Thursday (January 23).