Reading Festival should be fire-free zone says MP

Reading West MP meeting festival chief Melvin Benn

Pic: Tom Martin
Reading Festival boss Melvin Benn was due to meet Reading West MP Martin Salter yesterday (September 25) after Salter called for all camp-fires to be banned at the festival.

The MP had told BBC 6music that he saw the presence of fires at the annual event a serious danger, saying that the festival did not have the sufficient security measures to control all the problems caused by camp-fires.

He talked about "angry mobs running around, stealing other people's tents and possessions and throwing them on the bonfires to keep the fires burning. It's a lethal cocktail, drunken young people, fires and insufficient security to deal with the situation."

He went on to say that although he was critical of the fire-related rules, he was not a critic of the event as a whole. "I am a supporter of the festival, I want it to be a great success," he said, "but I want it to be a safe event for young people as it always used to be."

Benn and Salter are yet to reveal the outcome of the meeting.

A large fire broke out at last year’s Reading Festival after fans lost control of a barbeque in a car park.

Watch Reading Festival 2008 camp-fire video footage by clicking below.

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