Cornish council fears crusty invasion and nixes ents licence for 10 day bash...

The ten-day Eclipse Dance Festival, scheduled for Cornwall’s Carlyon Bay from August 6-15, is in jeopardy after being refused an entertainments licence.

Festival organisers are lodging an appeal against the decision by Restormel Borough Council last Monday (March 15) to refuse the 16,000-capacity event the licence.

A council report states: “There are concerns the event may attract ‘new age travellers’ and consequently may result in a further ‘alternative festival’ or illegal rave.”


But Eclipse Festival promoter James Sherlock told NME: “I think it’s been rejected on unlawful reasons. We are appealing and we feel very confident that we will get the right outcome.”

Around 1,000 tickets have been sold for the event which has advertised DJs Paul Oakenfold, Judge Jules and Brandon Block to appear. An appeal was due to be lodged at Newquay Magistrates’ Court as NME went to press.

Cornwall is bracing itself for the arrival of up to four million people for the first solar eclipse in the UK since 1927.

So far, five major events, including the Eclipse Festival, have been planned for the area but they are all still waiting for licences to be granted.

Megadog, the organiser of last year’s Carlyon Bay beach festival, has teamed up with Essential Festival organisers and promoter Harvey Goldsmith to promote an eclipse event – the Essential Megadog Festival ’99 – at Newnham Park, Plymouth.

The 20,000-capacity event will run from August 6-11 and is slated to feature major dance artists, subject to a licence.


Essential‘s Ish Ali said: “This is the only eclipse festival that’s going to happen. We’ve all got experience with events like this and the Megadog people create the best sort of festival atmosphere there is.”

Another event scheduled for Cornwall is the 20,000-capacity Totality Dance Festival, planned to take place from August 9-11 at a site just outside Newquay. Featured artists include The Orb, LTJ Bukem and Sasha.

Harvey Goldsmith is promoting a classical concert the night before the eclipse (August 10) at a site on The Lizard, near another dance and pop festival scheduled from August 2-16, The Lizard Festival.

In addition, six campsites are being set up across Cornwall by promoters Cornwall Eclipse 99. The family sites will include free entertainment, including performances by Oasis-tribute band Wonderwall.

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