Bingley Town Council has welcomed Bradford Metropolitan District Council’s decision not to allow a new music festival to take place in Myrtle Park in August and the Town Council wants urgent action to halt ticket sales for the adult-only event.

A specially called meeting of Bingley Town Council (12.7.17) heard that the Riverside Festival was judged unsafe by Bradford Council’s Public Safety Liaison Group last Tuesday (4.7.17).    The festival’s organisers had failed to provide all the necessary documentation and reassurances.

At last night’s meeting, the Town Council urged Bradford to publicise its decision to veto the festival and to contact the organisers to tell them to cancel the event.  Despite being officially called off last Friday (7.7.17), the Festival’s Facebook page is still promoting tickets for the event (13.7.17).

Ros Dawson, Bingley Town Council chair, said: “This has been dubbed by some as a “stealth festival”. There has been no consultation and no advertising about this event around Bingley.   It seems that social media has been used to target people who enjoy a specific type of music and experience.  Many residents near the park, who’ve only heard about the festival by chance, have been very concerned about the likely noise and other anti-social behaviour and the impact on the park.”

The Town Council called on Bradford to act fast to ensure that the cancellation of the Riverside Festival is communicated to the hundreds of people who have already bought tickets to stop them arriving in Bingley Myrtle Park on August 5th for a festival that is not taking place.   It also wants changes in Bradford’s process for giving permission for events in the Bingley area so that residents and the Town Council are consulted in advance and all health and safety and other paperwork is properly completed before any go-ahead is given.

The Riverside Festival, according to its online ticket site, is an event for 2,500 over-18 “party-people”.  Running from 2pm to 10pm in Myrtle Park on Saturday August 5th, it advertises “the best in house and bass” music in three arenas with 20 DJs and public address systems.

At the meeting last night, Bradford Council officers told the Town Councillors that initial permission had been granted for the Riverside Festival in May and it had been described by the organisers as an event for “young people excluded from Bingley Music Live”.

This was challenged by Town Councillors who pointed out that the Riverside was for over-18s whereas Bingley Music Live, a three day festival taking place at the start of September, is a family-orientated event.

Bingley Town Council vice chair, Marcus Dearden, said he understood the Riverside Festival organisers had been desperately seeking another venue. Cllr Dearden added: “We’ve got Bingley Show in July and Bingley Music Live in September.  How did anyone think another festival in Myrtle Park at the start of August would be a good idea?”

Residents who came to the meeting expressed their concerns that the festival could exacerbate drug dealing issues and wanted reassurances about the nature, operation and security of all events, particularly as many elderly people live near the park.