We have been in contact with a resident of Gresford Road, Llay, who attended a meeting between ‘MiFest’ and the local residents of the surrounding area. We have previously covered local residents concerns to the music festival that will occur in Llay in August.
The resident is a twenty one year old student, and says hes “very much the target demographic of the festival and this is the kind of festival I would and honestly probably will attend. However I live on the Gresford Road which is pretty much opposite the festival and share some of the concerns my parents and other residents“.
He describes his stance as ‘semi-neutral’ in terms of the festival, accepting that it will take place this year however does not think that an annual event ought to occur as is being proposed.
The meeting was conducted upstairs in the Miners Welfare, and a man at the front of the building was collecting names for a petition against MiFest, who mentioned that he was not allowed to ask for names inside the meeting thus being outside.
The resident describes the meeting as being “about 7 individuals from both the council and the organisers scattered around the room answering questions. I use the phrase ‘answering questions’ loosely as it was just people moving between representatives and yelling at them. There was no organised forum to express and raise issues and so people were just wandering around asking the same questions and recieving different answers. The organisers and council representatives often contradicted each others stories most notably the organisers were under the impression that they could sell tickets on the day and the council saying they did not have permission yet.”
He went on to say “Many people just chose to stay with one person and complain about retrospective decisions like the lack of notice which were fair points but were also asked by every other person throughout and no coherant discussion was ever raised. The meeting should of been in a presentation form with each person giving their knowledge and then taking questions.”
“As I mentioned many people were asking the wrong questions. I actually visted the stands from the council, security, the enviromental agency, the police and the licensing and H&S representatives to get the full. Considering the lack of knowledge and publicity of this festival, that’s what people should have done. The festival itself looks very well organised. The noise will be regulated by the enviromental commission who can shut it down and alcohol can’t be served after 11. The arena and campsite is nowhere near housing, it is only a car park that faces housing. A lot of people didn’t register this and kept asking questions about these issues.”
Security of the festival has been a hot topic locally, and the resident who sent us his report on the evening highlights “The man responsible for security (who got very little attention for some reason) had an impressive CV with organising festivals under the Creamfields name and had dealt with festivals based near residential areas. The festival is very much a once the are in they wont be leaving approach with internal security and fencing. The main problems for me and others were what ejected trouble makers would do i.e left on the road drunk. The police had no idea what support they could give yet which was not comforting.”
With several thousand possibly attending the question of transportation and parking has been raised locally and at the meeting: “The festival is charging £10 for parking on an uneven field whereas there is ample parking all outside housing and the industrial estate. The festival seems to be very well organised internally but pays not attention to the problems it may cause or attract externally. Will we be able to get out of our house on that weekend or will there be traffic or a car blocking the driveway?”
There has been much critiscm of the council process, as appears it was conducted over the winter period where many may have had focus on Christmas or New Year : “The approval of the festival was a farce with the only advertising being an advert in the Leader (no one saw it) and it was advertised on their website. No flyers were posted or posters hung to give the residents chance to protest before approval. Whilst the festival will probably go ahead this year, after the uproar I saw today I don’t see it continuing.”
The resident summed up the meeting by telling us “Overall tonight got little cleared up due to poor planning with the organisers unable to answer many questions (often because they don’t know yet) and the disorganised rabble yelling at a poor council worker who couldn’t help them. Maybe I don’t see the same problems a lot of them share because of the age gap and the fact that they own the house that will probably devalue. I will be attending this year probably but I did sign my name on the way out to stop it next year.”