Council reveals why it cancelled booking of music festival Gosfest

BIG DAY OUT Festival-goers at last year's GosFest
BIG DAY OUT Festival-goers at last year's GosFest
  • Gosport Borough Council reveals why they cancelled land booking for Gosfest
  • Statement says financial issues and a court case are among other factors for decision
  • But director of Eventures said any issues should have been raised with her
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THE reasons for a council cancelling the booking for land due to stage music festival Gosfest have been revealed.

In a statement, Gosport Borough Council has explained why it announced last month that Stokes Bay would no longer host the four-day event in the summer.

The financial issues and court case are not related to Eventures at all

Chloe Palmer

It says it took the provisional booking for the festival on the condition the organisers didn’t advertise they had the site.

This was to allow the council to make sure relevant insurances were in place

But Eventures, the firm behind GosFest, went ahead and said it was staging the event at Stokes Bay.

The letter added that any future events by the firm would not be given permission to use council-owned land.

That also put an end to Eventures plans for a Cake, Bake and Food Festival in Walpole Park.

In the council’s statement it said financial issues and a court case relating to GosFest had brought the council’s reputation into disrepute.

Director of Eventures Chloe Palmer said she was not told of the council’s concerns and the court case had nothing to do with her company.

‘The financial issues and court case are not related to Eventures at all,’ she said.

‘Neither the company or myself are in court for anything.

‘If the council had issues about this or anything else then they should have come to me but they didn’t. In the past, when events have been provisionally booked, there has been no problem with the location being advertised.

‘The council seemed to have changed its mind on this for Gosfest.

‘If any concerns like this had been raised by the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) or anyone else at the council, then I should have been notified.’

In the council letter it said the Safety Advisory Group, which gives advice on events scheduled to happen, had held a special meeting to discuss Gosfest’s application.

It added this was normal procedure and the land booking was subject to the approval/advice of the SAG.

Gosport Borough Council statement

The financial issues and court case relating to GosFest have been widely reported in the press and the council believes this has brought the council’s reputation into disrepute.

In October, November and December last year the chief executive wrote to one of the two directors of Eventures International Limited and advised that the council would not hire any of its land to him or any company he was associated with for the reason set out above.

The director was also requested to stop advertising the event as being held on council land.

At the end of January this year, the council was advised that this director had resigned and the chief executive reconfirmed on February 16 that neither he nor the other director of the company had made a booking for the use of council land for GosFest or similar and that they should cease advertising immediately.

It was on March 10 that the company made a request to use Stokes Bay for GosFest.

The council confirmed on March 27 that this was only a provisional booking but as previous requests to cease advertising events on council land had been ignored by the company, the council put the following on the front page of its website:

Land at Stokes Bay has been provisionally booked for a Music Festival by Eventures.

We have received the Safety Advisory Group notifications for the event but at present the booking of land by this Council is still subject to approval/advice of SAG. 

This is the normal procedure.

A special SAG meeting will be held to discuss the proposed event.

The council will also require Insurance details etc. to be in place and full payment before confirmation of the booking of the land.

We discourage event organisers from advertising events until permission is granted. 

Anything they put in the public domain is their responsibility.

In early April it became clear that the company would not be able to satisfy the council’s requirements and on April 7 the council advised the company that the provisional booking had been cancelled.