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Festivals will bring music to Gosport despite concerns

GosFest 2013. 

Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography

GosFest 2013. Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography

 

TWO music festivals planned for this summer will go ahead despite concerns they could lead to trouble.

Gosport Borough Council’s community board gave the nod to the Gosport Community Waterfront Festival and GosFest, which will both will take place in Walpole Park.

Councillor Graham Burgess, who chaired the meeting, said there were no problems with noise or antisocial behaviour at last year’s GosFest and he expected this year’s events would also be well-behaved.

Cllr Burgess said music festivals had been highlights of Gosport’s events calendar since the 1990s, and were a money-spinner for businesses.

He said: ‘They bring a lot of money into Gosport. You’ve obviously got the acts and they’re going to stay in hotels.

‘Visitors are going to come and they’ll stay in bed and breakfasts, they’ll stay in hotels, they’ll even stay on caravan sites. People will come, they’ll support it.’

Paul Cobb put in the application to run GosFest, after hosting the festival last year with former partner Dave Smith.

As reported, the pair are now in a legal battle with Mr Smith saying Mr Cobb owes him £13,000.
The future of GosFest was unclear after
firms were left unpaid for their work putting on last year’s event.

Cllr Robert Hylands said Gosport’s reputation had suffered through incidents such as the row between Mr Smith and Mr Cobb, and approving the festivals meant another opportunity for something to go wrong.

Cllr Hylands said: ‘I have no issue with festivals in Gosport provided safety is paramount, but it would be remiss if I didn’t say that I have serious concerns given the history of the people involved.

‘Gosport has been dragged through the mud enough as it is with recent events.’

In reply, Cllr Piers Bateman said there were risks involved in staging any festival.

He said: ‘We’d be doing the people of Gosport a great disservice if we didn’t press on.’

Cllr June Cully said: ‘If the people themselves are enjoying the event and they’re leaving in a well-behaved manner then it works for all parties.’

The Gosport Community Waterfront Festival will be on July 18 to July 20. GosFest is to run from August 7 to August 10 and will this year include a second stage to host 30 bands and artists.

 

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