The Welliestock music festival will take place on Saturday 1 July in the grounds of Wellesley Park Primary School as planned now that a premise licence has been granted by Taunton Deane Borough Council.
The Licensing Sub-Committee met to discuss the application and approved the application by Welliestock organiser Huw Weston – with certain conditions applied. The sale of alcohol is to stop at 10.15pm and the stage will not be dismantled between 11pm and 8am after the event.
Those opposing the application attended the meeting. Residents claimed that anti-social behaviour during the latter part of the festival and excessive noise from the event had caused serious concerns.
Mr Weston admitted that there had been issues of behaviour at Welliestock 2016 but that changes in security and monitoring would be in place this year to make the event safe and prevent residents being disturbed.
One resident, Marion Jones, (72), described last year’s event as a “violent drunken brawl” after she was threatened and had her garden vandalised. PCSO Steve Hill said that only one incident had been logged. Other residents referred to excessive levels of noise which prevented them sleeping and concerns that the school’s maze had been used as a urinal – although Mr Weston disputed that claim.
Mr Weston said that he had increased security from 10 to 15 at this year’s event, had reduced the line-up to 4 acts, had added a fence to prevent people getting into the venue without tickets and had introduced a system to prevent under-age drinking.
Mr Weston is a music teacher in a local school and set up the festival in 2014 to celebrate the amount of musical talent in the local area. He told the Sub-Committee that he was hoping to channel proceeds from programme sales back into local schools. He said, “This is not a commercial event; it’s a community event.”
Mr Weston says he is hoping to find somewhere else to host the festival in 2018.