August 19, 2008 12:17

Babyshambles banned from headlining festival

Police say band could incite public disorder

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Photo: Emilie Bailey

Police have banned Pete Doherty and Babyshambles from performing at the Moonfest festival, set to take place on August 29-31 in Wiltshire.

Doherty's band were due to play at the bash on August 29, but a police investigation into Babyshambles' stage manner led them to draw the conclusion that their performance would be likely to incite violence.

Chief Superintendent Julian Kirby, divisional commander of Wiltshire Police, said: "We carried out an analysis of what Pete Doherty and his band does.

"What he does as part of his routine is to gee up the crowd. They speed up and then slow down the music and create a whirlpool effect in the crowd.

"They [the crowd] all get geed up and then they start fighting."

Police presented their findings to North Wiltshire Magistrates on Monday (August 17), who ordered festival organisers to cancel any appearance from Doherty or Babyshambles.

It is believed that the case represents the first time police anywhere in the country have used Section 160 of the Licensing Act (2003) to get a performance stopped, Gazette And Herald reports.

Despite the fact that only 150 tickets have currently been sold for the 5,000 capacity festival, Supt Paul Williams said that the ten stewards licensed to work at Moonfest would have been inadequate to cope with a public order situation.

Reacting to the police's decision, Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek said he was angry, but said that the band would try to organise an alternative show. "The whole thing is a farce, it's almost comical," he told NME.COM.

"The organiser of the festival is now on the verge of bankruptcy," he continued. "Why? Because we intentionally speed up and slow down the tempo of our songs. We're now in the process of trying to make it happen in a different venue. Watch this space."

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