Licence for ‘potentially noisy’ deaf festival blocked

Tickets to the Deaf Foam Festival
Tickets to the Deaf Foam Festival
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Plans for a three-day festival likely to attract at least 500 deaf people from across the UK have been rejected.

On Wednesday, Central Beds Council’s licensing sub committee met to debate the event which police had been objecting to – because they feared it would be too noisy.

The England Deaf Party wanted The Deaf Foam Festival to take place on July 8-10 at Stockwell Farm, Leighton Road, Eggington, with entertainment running through until 4am. Despite not gaining a licence its website says certain ticket types are sold out or nearly sold out.

Beds Police licensing officer PC Liam Mitchell has told Central Beds Council that the event’s website and social media pages made reference to ‘Live Music, All Night Long’. “This is despite regulated entertainment not being requested on the application,” he said. “Such music is likely to result in a repeat of the noise nuisance seen by the residents of Eggington during the event in 2014 [The Illusive Fest].”

He pointed out that the Illusive Fest at the same site attacted around 1,500 people, resulted in multiple arrests for drug offences, assault, criminal damage and a serious road traffic collision. Villagers from Eggington also complained of excessive noise.

Pc Mitchell said: “The previous festival in 2014 demonstrated the impact on crime, disorder, public safety and nuisance that a well-planned event at this location generated.”

Central Beds Council’s environmental health officer, Alan Stone, said he objected on potential noise nuisance and public safety grounds. He added: “There is insufficient information on which to assess the merits of the proposals.”

The England Deaf Party website states the festival will feature dancers, comedy, theatre, poets, storytelling, foods, films, carbaret, and other arts.

It states that £130 group of four tickets are sold out, and £50 VIP tickets (“giving access to see the presenter, famous people and what’s going on in the background of the stage”) are nearly sold out. The website states that the tickets are non refundable unless you take out ticket insurance.

The Party has 21 days to appeal the decision at Magistrates Court.

We approached the England Deaf Party for comment, but as of yet have had no response.