ORGANISERS of Gosfest have come under fire for advertising their planned new venue before having a licence to hold the event.
Eventures confirmed this week it had permission to use Newlands Farm, in Fareham, for the four-day festival.
They really should get their sites licensed and approved before they announce them.Councillor Peter Chegwyn
But although the site is private land, a premises licence needs to be given by Fareham Borough Council before it can take place.
The council has confirmed a licence application has not been submitted.
Peter Chegwyn, a Gosport councillor and organiser of Wickham Festival, said: ‘I’m very concerned about this. Every music festival has to be licensed to ensure public safety.
‘The organisers should be more honest with the public and make it clear they don’t yet have a premises licence and they may not get one.
‘My concern is for people who are being encouraged to buy tickets for an event that is currently unlicensed and may not take place.
‘They really should get their sites licensed and approved before they announce them.
‘It’s just not fair to take money for tickets without saying the event isn’t yet licensed and may not happen.’
Gosfest was forced to find an alternative venue after the provisional booking for Stokes Bay was cancelled by Gosport council.
The council did this after the company advertised the event as being on the site when it was not confirmed. Eventures was told on several occasions not to.
Fareham council leader Sean Woodward said it too had advised Eventures not to advertise the festival yet.
‘I’m surprised they are promoting the event without a licence,’ he said.
‘They were strongly advised by us to wait for the licence.’
Dean Keating from Aaron Dean events, which runs family days out in Gosport, said: ‘It is so disorganised and I am not even sure if the festival will go ahead.
‘If I was putting on an event of that magnitude, I would not announce the venue until I had everything in place.’
But director of Eventures Chloe Palmer said there was no point putting in a licence application until permission was given to use the site.
‘It costs thousands to put in a licence application and it didn’t make sense to put one in when we didn’t know if we would get the venue,’ she said.
‘We will be submitting one over the next couple of days.
‘I have no concerns about the festival going ahead.’
A licence application needs to be submitted at least 56 days before an event although six months in advance is desirable.
Once submitted, the application is open to public consultation for 28 days. If objections are received, a hearing is held within the next 28 days for a decision. If there are no objections, the licence is granted.
Advice from the Safety Advisory Group, which includes police and fire services, is also taken into consideration.