Reading Festival should be fire-free zone says MP

Reading West MP meeting festival chief Melvin Benn

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.