No formal action taken against Boomtown Festival

Winchester City Council has decided not to take any formal action against the premises licence holder and promoters of this year’s Boomtown Festival. The festival, which was held at Matterley Bowl in August, generated a number of noise complaints, and allegations that some of the conditions attached to the premises licence held by Mr Peveril Bruce of Matterley Estate had not been complied with.

Council officers investigated the allegations and interviewed the licence holder and the promoters.

Some technical conditions were breached, but they were of a minor nature and caused no problems or danger to the public attending the event. Noise conditions were imposed in the licence, and set a maximum level for music off site. These limits were breached, although the organisers lowered the volume when the breaches became apparent. One factor this year was the wind direction, unusually during the event the wind changed direction pushing the music noise towards Winchester.

A further allegation was that music was provided after the terminal hour of midnight on the Sunday. The organisers claimed this was incidental music, which is not a licensable activity. The music at that time resulted in one complaint being received.

After weighing up the evidence, the Council had to decide if it was appropriate to prosecute the licence holder and promoters. In making its decision, the Council had to consider whether there was a realistic prospect of securing convictions and whether it was in the public interest to prosecute. Taking into account the available evidence, the mitigating circumstances and the level of penalty which was likely to be imposed if the defendants were convicted it was decided that prosecution was not appropriate, and a better way forward was to ensure compliance with the licence at any future events.

John Myall, Licensing Manger said,

The Council takes the licensing of events very seriously to ensure that they are safe for attendees, and also do not impact too negatively on local residents. We work with license holders and events promoters to evaluate events and ensure conditions are being met, and we will take formal action where appropriate.

Council Licensing and Environmental Health officers, along with the Police, will be working with the licence holder and Boomtown organisers to ensure any future events are safe and secure and comply with the licence conditions.

Mr Bruce and the Boomtown directors have received a formal warning as to future events under the licence, and have been informed that any further licensing breaches could result in prosecution and a review of the premises licence.