South West Wales

Court fight over Pembrokeshire music festival

The Blue Rock Festival in 2008
Image caption The festival has been staged annually at fields near Llanfyrnach on the Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire border since 2004

Organisers of an annual music festival in Pembrokeshire are going to court to try to save this year's event.

The county council revoked the Celtic Blue Rock's licences to stop it taking place in fields near Llanfyrnach.

It said it had grown from a small community festival in 2004 to a "major event" for up to 10,000 people without the management changes to cope.

But organisers have a lodged an appeal stating it is both well resourced and well run.

They claim they were not given a fair hearing by the council's licensing sub-committee last month and were prevented from submitting evidence supporting their case to councillors.

Cris Tomos said they were still planning for this year's festival, to be headlined by The Beat and Goldie Lookin Chain, to take place between 6 and 8 August.

He confirmed an appeal had now been lodged at Haverfordwest Magistrates' Court.

Mr Tomos said organisers had been led to believe May's licensing hearing would be adjourned as their legal representative was unable to be be present, but it went ahead.

He said they were also prevented from submitting evidence that showed there had been "substantial developments and new investment in infrastructure" over the past five years.

"It is a well managed, well resourced, popular community event," he added.

He said organisers were still very hopeful it would go ahead and it had not been cancelled.

But he added: "We, as the organisers, are completely committed to it being totally within the licensing laws."

But Pembrokeshire council said concerns about the festival had been raised by some people living locally as well as the responsible authorities, including Dyfed-Powys Police and its own pollution control department.

It said members of the committee carefully considered all representations before reaching a decision.

"There is evidence of repeated non-compliance with a number of conditions which have been imposed over the years, a number of which the premises licence holder has agreed to through mediation but to which the premises licence holder has still not adhered," it said.

"There is evidence of a distinct lack of significant improvement in the running of the event over the last five years."

It said committee members found it had "grown from a relatively small local community festival event to a major event without the management capability having kept pace with the growth".

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