Fontwell residents’ backlash at Mutiny Festival

Mutiny in the Park at Victoria Park in Porstmouth, 2014  Picture by Melanie Leininger PPP-140720-165348001
Mutiny in the Park at Victoria Park in Porstmouth, 2014 Picture by Melanie Leininger PPP-140720-165348001

ANGRY residents are up in arms about a music festival which is set to attract around 15,000 revellers.

Mutiny Festival, held last year in Portsmouth, will take place at Fontwell Park on July 18 and 19.

Rachel Ross claims residents had been left ‘in the dark’ about the event.

Rachel, who lives in the area, said: “15,000 people are expected to descend onto Fontwell Park. The only problem is the majority of the Fontwell residents have no idea. This whole situation is extremely worrying.

“Panic is starting to set in as the realisation dawns that we are in for a truly disruptive weekend, the consequences yet unknown. How this event has been granted a licence is completely unbelievable.

“Many residents are families with young children who have school the following Monday after a night of music being played till 2am.”

Luke Betts is one the event organisers. He said they had gone ‘above and beyond’ with community engagement.

“We do take residents’ concerns seriously.

“That is why we have had parish council meetings, open days and drop-ins. There is a dedicated phone line for residents if they have any concerns. There is a lot more community engagement going into this festival than any other festival I have been involved in. We have followed licensing laws and the authorities are satisfied with the work we have done.”

A spokesman for Fontwell Park said such events were important for the long-term prosperity of the racecourse as an employer and contributor to the community: “The racecourse was approached to act as the venue. We have worked closely with the organisers participating in several meetings with the local authority, environmental health, and the police in order to ensure the event complies with all of the conditions required by those parties.”

A spokesperson for Arun District Council added: “The festival is being held on private land therefore Arun District Council was not involved with the decision to host the event. The application was referred to our licensing sub-committee as there were a number of concerns raised during the consultation process.

“The committee granted the licence with specific conditions, most importantly that management plans will be agreed with the relevant authorities to ensure that the event is run in a safe and effective manner.

“We have listened to concerns and we are satisfied the organisers have adequate measures in place to mitigate such issues.

“Council licensing officers will be on site working closely with event organisers, monitoring noise levels and making sure licence conditions and management plans are adhered to.”

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