Despite passionate local outcry, Burnley Council has given popular Drop the Beat festival the green light, with event organisers promising “something for everyone”.
After a meeting of the council’s licensing sub-committee at Burnley Town Hall on Friday, the application to host the festival in Ightenhill was granted despite numerous residents voicing their stringent opposition to what they claim will be an overtly invasive event.
“We don’t want to annoy anyone,” said organiser Craig Kennedy. “We’ve taken residents into consideration and we’re working with them. I understand they may not want it on their doorstep, but we’re going above and beyond.”
The licence – lodged by Hunters Oak Limited and Chris Smith of Hunters Oak Farm, where the festival is due to take place on Saturday, June 24th – will allow the organisers to sell alcohol and stage live music across a maximum of eight events per annum.
But the location of the festival has sparked anger in the neighbouring housing estate, with Ightenhill Ward Councillor, Tom Porter, saying: “We’re not against people enjoying themselves, but this could be too big an even to put on without trialling something smaller first.”
Other concerns raised at the meeting centred on the lack of access , noise disturbance, and potential public nuisance, with parish councillor, Tony Mitchell, insisting: “It could cause a heck of a lot of interruption to people’s lives. It’s just not the right place.”
But after the hearing, council representatives were convinced that the organisers had done everything to ensure that the event would meet stringent licensing regulations, while also pointing to the fact that local environmental authorities and emergency services had also looked into their plan and given the festival the go-ahead.
“Burnley needs the odd pick-me-up,” Craig insisted. “Drop the Beat is flying DJs in from Ibiza, Germany; all over Europe.
“The local effort is a big part of the festival,” he added. “Hotels and restaurants will be full and we’re having an after-party in Burnley.
“It’s very diverse, there’s live bands, singers, DJs - something for everyone,” Craig continued. “The response to us getting the license has been phenomenal.”
Despite residents’ frustrations, Chris Smith of Hunters Oak Farm said: “We know some residents have been apprehensive, but the organisers have vast experience of running a successful and trouble-free event which has become very popular in the area.”
After the verdict, Tom Porter said: “Their solicitor pointed out that they have adhered to the licensing rules. It’s in a very residential area, but it’s difficult for the committee to argue.”