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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 19 June, 2002, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Leeds Festival promoters fight on
Guns 'n' Roses
It would be Guns 'n' Roses' first UK gig for nine years
Promoters of one of the UK's biggest summer music festivals said they would press on with the event - despite a council's decision to refuse an entertainment licence.

Guns 'n' Roses, Prodigy and The Strokes had been expected to attract 50,000 people to the three-day rock concert near Leeds.


The police, fire service, ambulance service and all the council officers have raised no objections

Melvin Benn, Mean Fiddler organisation
The Mean Fiddler organisation said on Wednesday it intended to contest Leeds City council's decision to refuse a licence for August festival.

The council's licensing panel voted to refuse an entertainment licence on Wednesday because, said the acting chairman, promised management improvements "were not made".

At last year's event there were scenes of violence and vandalism and the council also received complaints from nearby residents about noise levels.

Graham Hyde, acting chairman of the panel, said: "The panel are concerned that, at previous applications for a public entertainment licence for the Leeds Festival at Temple Newsam, certain assurances were given that improvements would be made to the control and management of the site.

'No confidence'

"It is clear, as is admitted by Mr Melvin Benn of Mean Fiddler, that these improvements were not made.

"The panel has no confidence that the assurances made will be carried through and, therefore, the application is refused."

Jarvis Cocker
Pulp are set to appear at the event
Festival manager Melvin Benn said that the councillors' decision had been influenced by last year's events.

"The police, fire service, ambulance service and all the council officers have raised no objections to the event because of the thoroughness of the preparation that have gone into this year's application," he said.

"However, the issues of last year have played on the minds of the councillors and local residents and I believe the councillors have judged last year's event, rather than this year's application."

Mr Benn said that weekend and day tickets for the event will remain on sale while Mean Fiddler appeals against the decision.

This year's event is due to feature an exclusive UK performance from veteran United States rockers Guns 'n' Roses, whose last UK gig was in 1993.

Pulp, Muse, Ash and US acts Foo Fighters, The Offspring and Slipknot are also on the bill for the two festivals, to be held over the weekend of 23-25 August.

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