Isle of Wight Festival: Call for licence review

By Emily Pearce

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Isle of Wight Festival: Call for licence review

Traffic chaos on the opening day of the Isle of Wight Festival. Picture vby Jennifer Burton.

AEROSPACE firm GKN has called for the Isle of Wight Festival's licence to be reviewed over fears about public safety and disorder.

Large parts of the Isle of Wight were brought to a standstill by traffic chaos at the start of this year’s festival, leading to production problems for the East Cowes factory after workers were caught in jams.

The company has now questioned the ability of festival organiser Solo to effectively and safely organise the event in the future.

The application was raised at last night’s (Monday) Newport Parish Council meeting, when chairman Cllr Mary Craven said GKN had raised some good points.

Cllr Geoff Lumley said it was disappointing however, to have only learned of the application after Cllr Craven spotted a public notice while walking her dog close to the Seaclose site.

In its application to the Isle of Wight Council to review the licence, GKN said the congestion caused a clear public nuisance.

It said: "It is accepted the weather conditions were poor. However, this is no justification for the lack of any clear or credible contingency planning by Solo Promoters (and the Isle of Wight Council) to address the bad weather, which caused unprecedented disruption and disorder to the traffic and travel network on the Island.

"The overwhelming consensus of residents and businesses is that the festival does not contribute significantly to the local economy and will constitute an ongoing public nuisance in its current form.

"GKN Aerospace, the residents and businesses of the Isle of Wight are now legitimately concerned that if the licence granted to Solo Promoters is not revoked, or at the very lease reviewed and conditioned, any future festival will continue to cause public nuisance and has real potential to cause crime, disorder and a threat to public safety."

The company claimed emergency services were unable to move freely around the Island, posing a direct threat to public safety, and large numbers of festival-goers were stranded around GKN's premises and the festival site, which could have easily led to disorder.

GKN employees were unable to get to work, causing the company a substantial loss, the firm added.

Festival organisers Solo declined to comment.

Comments on the review application can be submitted on the council's website, at

The consultation is due to end on November 1, however a date for the licensing hearing has yet to be fixed.



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Displaying the last 10 of 16 comments - Show All Comments

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by stephen langford

11th October 2012, at 12:54:34

Construct a secure fence around the festival site to contain civil dissorder.Build a cross solent bridge or tunnel from the M3 (mainland), direct to Seaclose Park. That will knock out Wightlink`s, Red Funnel`s, questionable practices, free up Island traffic for the 4 day event, encourage the much needed annual tourists and ease travel to and from the mainland 361 days a year. What are you we waiting for ?

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by charlotte Donovan

10th October 2012, at 19:17:08

Leave the festivals where they are. Its 4 days a year for IOW festival and the same for the bestival,. Last year's traffic hold ups was a one off and Im sure that will never happen again, they will learn from it and have a back up plan for next year if the weather is rubbish again. I really wish people would stop moaning about it. Its over and done! Yes people lost money, some people made money,but thats life im afraid, so its best just to deal with it. The festivals put the IOW on the map and bring a lot of money to the Island. We could go on about all Island events and moan that we got held up in traffic, same as the road works, accidents, burst mains, snow etc etc. Thats life and it happens. If you lived in london and got held up in traffic for the olympics would you vote against it being held in the UK the next time?????? So come on people dont be so anti all the time! Yes it was a great shame people got stuck in cars over night - but it will never happen again!

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by Chris Evans

10th October 2012, at 11:20:51

Firstly, I really disagree with one or two of these comments. I work in East Cowes and had no problem whatsoever travelling to and from work on any of the festival days. Secondly what is the proliferation of groups opposing the festival, wind tubines and anything else they can think of that name themselves Isle of Wight residents etc against whatever it is. How dare they presume to think that they are speaking for the Island in general! The festival is a great thing for the island wherever on the island it may take place. The money that it generates is significant, and before anybody suggests that it is just the ferry companies and John Giddings who make the money you are totally wrong. I live in Shanklin and travel to the festival daily on the bus along with hundreds of people from the

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by Robert Phillips

10th October 2012, at 08:35:57

I think there should be a vote of all islanders to see if the majority of us want a festival,if the case is shown we do then we should have a say as to where it should be situated.

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by Alan Hunter

9th October 2012, at 22:49:07

Any comment from the Tourist organisation?

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by Den Young

9th October 2012, at 21:59:09

just like to say i lost 2 days wages because of the festival --- i was there much better than winging about it, never missed one since 1968

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by kevin froment

9th October 2012, at 21:42:32

alex kelly, at last someone else has seen the light, ive been banging on about putting it where it was historicly for some years. if they managed nearly a quarter of a million for the early 70s with hardly any infrastructure im sure they can now with the technology available to them. and mr taylor, i dont want to stay indoors, but i have to because the roads in and out of east cowes are gridlocked for the week before the festival, all the stage and fencing deliveries and the same the week after, we cant even get to our local shops because of the road closures. if it was a choice of move it or lose it, id vote lose it. just my opinion

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by Alex Kelly

9th October 2012, at 21:20:39

All these issues would disappear if the powers be move the whole thing back out to the west wight, simply move the whole infrastructure back out this way where there was tens of thousands more than the numbers of that in Newport. Plus there are numerous roads to filter all the traffic both in and out. It worked before and it can work again.

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by Steven Taylor

9th October 2012, at 19:49:45

Wight Residents Against the IOW festival. You people and your snobby upper class friends on the council do not own the Isle of Wight.Other people live here as well and some people like the festival.You can not just snap your fingers and don't give a toss what other people think and the festival will go.Next year when the festival is on why don't you all stay indoors or go on holiday.Its only 4 days in a year.

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by jan hickman

9th October 2012, at 19:08:44

we have many large areas on the iow suitable, and far better, stop jamming newport up, we hate it...!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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