Organisers and residents need to understand each other

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Your reaction to news of a big summer music festival being planned on farmland near Havant probably depends on how old you are and where you live.

The organisers behind the Mutiny Festival reckon they could attract some of the biggest names in dance music. A promotional video apparently refers to a ‘custom-built prison camp festival arena’ with as many as 20,000 people coming over two days.

If you’re young and looking for excitement and entertainment, we suspect you’ll be very pleased. A big event such as this on the doorstep next July is great news.

But what if you live close to the proposed site at Holme Farm on the outskirts of Rowlands Castle and are not of the age at which such a festival is aimed?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the reaction of residents is not so enthusiastic. In fact all they can see are the potential problems – the noise, the arenas’ proximity to houses, traffic causing gridlock.

Their concerns are legitimate and should not be dismissed as pure Nimbyism. But equally we believe that staging such an event in the area would provide a welcome boost to the local economy and cater for a young generation who may feel there are not enough events aimed at them locally.

That’s why the way forward needs both sides to understand the other and attempt to seek some sort of compromise.

The organisers have a track record of putting on Mutiny In The Park in Portsmouth’s Victoria Park last summer. They say they will be adhering to strict rules and that noise and traffic management companies would be appointed to meet licensing conditions imposed by Chichester District Council.

They have already held meetings with residents, the council, police and landowners, which shows they take their responsibilities seriously. Those meetings need to continue.

The Victorious Festival on Southsea Common showed that a big festival could work well despite being close to a residential area. We hope that the Mutiny Festival ends up demonstrating that it too can co-exist happily with a local community.

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