CARLING WEEKEND ORGANISERS ‘100% CERTAIN’ LEEDS WILL GO AHEAD

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The Mean Fiddler are confident their appeal against the refusal of a licence will succeed...

CARLING FESTIVAL organisers have assured NME.COM this year’s LEEDS event WILL take place – despite the refusal of the licence earlier in the week.

This year’s festival is set to take place at Temple Newsam Park in conjunction with the Reading leg over the weekend of August 23-25. The highlight of the event is a headline appearance from Guns ‘N Roses, who are not scheduled to appear in the south.

However, the licence application has been refused. In a statement, the acting chair of the licensing and regulatory panel, councillor Graham Hyde explained: “The panel are concerned that, at previous applications for a public entertainment licence for the Leeds Festival at Temple Newsam, certain assurances were given that improvements would be made to the control and management of the site.

“It is clear…that these improvements were not made. The Panel has no confidence that the assurances made today will be carried through and, therefore, the application is refused.”

Last year’s festival was marred by violence, with police in protective equipment being called in to control people throwing “stones and missiles” on the final night of the event. Trouble started after people in a festival campsite set fire to toilet blocks shortly after the end of the headline band at 11.30pm.

Local pressure groups have been petitioning to block the festival. The Friends of Temple Newsam Park, residents and councillors have penned letters requesting the event be held in another location. Other objections were about the noise and mess created from the festival.

Melvin Benn, MD of the Mean Fiddler, has explained to NME.COM how the appeal process will work.

“Where we currently stand is that the appeal hasn’t been lodged.” He said. “The reason the appeal hasn’t been lodged is because the appeal has to be very specific about what we are appealing. In order for us to be specific in what we are appealing, Leeds City Council need to be very specific about why it was refused. At the moment we haven’t got that. As soon as we have, which will be today or tomorrow, we’ll lodge the appeal accordingly. We’ll have the appeal lodged by Friday lunchtime, certainly.”

He said from there, a date will be set for the hearing at the Magistrates Court, where they ask different groups such as the police and fire brigade to speak on their behalf. He remained confident that the licence appeal will be successful, and warned ticketholders not to worry about the future of the event.

He concluded: “I’ve never failed to put a festival on in the past. I don’t intend to start this year. If they have tickets, hold on to them, if they want to buy tickets, buy them. I’m 100% certain that the Leeds festival will take place this year. It’s a great bill and a fantastic weekend. As ever the young people of Great Britain are having to stand up and prove themselves against adversity.”