Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Ceredigion music festival loses its licence

The Square Festival in 2008
The Square Festival started in 2008

A music festival in mid Wales has lost its licence amid concerns over safety, crime and disorder.

The three-day Square Festival in Borth, near Aberystwyth, had been running since 2008 and last year was headlined by Britpop band Supergrass.

Festival director Chris Dare said the event was in debt and some people were owned money.

Ceredigion council revoked its premises licence, saying management failed to meet "licensing objectives".

The authority's licensing panel heard about a variety of problems associated with last year's festival, which attracted about 5,000 revellers.

Dyfed-Powys Police asked the panel to review the premises licence for the event at Ynys Fergi Farm in Borth.

The event was riddled with problems in our production, traffic management, security, on-site management and more
Chris Dare, festival director

Among the reasons given by the council for revoking the licence were "inadequate control, leadership and delegation demonstrated over staff and the event in general".

It said there was a failure to ensure that public safety was promoted, there was evidence of crime and disorder on site and ineffective security.

Festival director Chris Dare said last year's event was "one of the most challenging, stressful, depressing and strange weekends I have ever experienced".

He added: "The event was riddled with problems in our production, traffic management, security, on site management and more.

"There were a number of influencing factors for the events problems, from people not turning up, poor communication, and a number of unforeseen and unfinished issues with the new site, generally trying to do things 'on a shoe string' also caused problems.

"My most sincere apologies to the people the festival owes money to. This certainly is not the way I had intended for things to go."

Chief Inspector Robyn Mason of Dyfed-Powys Police in Aberystwyth said he welcomed the licensing panel's decision.

"At the review, we highlighted problems caused to police and to other emergency services at the 2009 festival," he added.

"We do not object to such festivals taking place, but organisers need to work with us to ensure that any potential areas of concern can be ironed out in advance."



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