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Paddy Whur saves the Shindig Festival

As my current workload has been largely wrapped up with live music venues and festivals, I am very pleased to say that I have resolved issues on behalf of Shindig Weekender with the Licensing Authority and objectors in Yeovil.

My clients had attended a Licensing Sub-Committee for this year’s premises licence for the Shindig Weekender in May. As a result of opposition received from Councillors and residents, the hours of the premises licence were pulled back, to such an extent that the festival was about to be put at risk. If the hours had not been rectified, there was a real risk that my clients would not have been able to hold the festival that they wanted to, and this could have had a big impact on festival-goers attending Weekender.

Shindig Weekender is one of the Country’s few genuinely “boutique” festivals, presenting an opportunity to experience acts up close and personal.

This year’s line-up includes Soul II Soul, Stereo MCs, Mr. Scruff, Norman Jay and a huge undercard of fabulous talent.

As well as this, there will be a comedy and cabaret tent which is headlined by Phill Jupitus.

The event had sold out and there was obviously  a significant fear that, with the reduced hours, the line-up would not all be able to play at the times the organisers wished.

I was instructed after the initial Sub-Committee decision.

We lodged an appeal immediately to Yeovil Magistrates’ Court and were under considerable time pressure to resolve the issues to allow Weekender’s hours to be advertised and for the event to take place as promoted.

Fortunately, the Council were particularly proactive and were agreeable to meeting us on a “without prejudice” basis to discuss whether we could settle the appeal without the need for a contested hearing. None of the responsible authorities had objected to the application and there were a small number of local residents and one Councillor who had persuaded the Licensing Sub-Committee to prune the hours of the event. I am delighted that my clients’ acoustic expert and the very helpful Environmental Health Officer of Yeovil Council worked together to improve the event management plan in relation to the event and, in particular, the potential for noise nuisance from the festival.

A significant amount of work had to be undertaken very quickly but as a result of this, the Authority were persuaded to compromise the appeal and allow the hours that were applied for to be substituted for the shorter hours that had been granted at the Licensing Sub-Committee hearing.

This was a fabulous example of all parties working together to negotiate a workable resolution, without the need for a matter going to a contested hearing at the Magistrates’ Court. I hope everybody has a fabulous time at the Shindig Weekender in May.