Massive festival at farm near Havant could attract 20,000

Revellers at last year's Mutiny in the Park festival
Revellers at last year's Mutiny in the Park festival
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A MASSIVE music festival attracting up to 20,000 people is being planned for a farm near Havant.

Mutiny Festival, which is set to attract some of the biggest names in dance, is being proposed for Holme Farm on the outskirts of Rowlands Castle near Stansted Park.

But the prospect of two large music arenas – one proposed about 50m from six houses – and thousands of revellers descending on the normally quiet area is causing concern.

The organisers, who arranged Mutiny In The Park in Portsmouth’s Victoria Park last summer, say they will be adhering to strict rules.

But Rowlands Castle councillor Marge Harvey said: ‘It’s going to be too much for the village and the road system will not be able to cope.

‘They will come from the A3, the A27, everywhere. It will be gridlock, I would think.’

James Cooper, director of Stansted Park Foundation, said promoters approached him about having the festival at Stansted Park, but he deemed it too large and not right for the estate.

He has seen proposals for two music arenas – one with a 7,000sq m stage and another with a 1,500sq m stage.

It would be a two-day festival in July with 15,000 people camping over three days, he understood.

A promotional video outlines a ‘custom-built prison camp festival arena’ with ‘40,000 pirates’.

Mr Cooper said: ‘From what we can establish there’s a substantial music and dance festival proposed for Holme Farm.

‘There have been widespread concerns expressed around the issues of noise, the scale, proximity to houses, security and trespass from those who will not be paying to get in.’

He said he was also concerned about fires being lit and potential environmental damage to Stansted Park.

He added: ‘There’s a strong anxiety in the local community about this.’

Cllr Harvey and the Stansted Park Foundation plan to object to Chichester District Council when promoters apply for a licence.

Luke Betts, one of the organisers, said they were keen to engage with the local community and had held meetings with residents, the local authority, police and landowners.

He said: ‘An event of this sort is licensed and regulated by the local authority.

‘It’s all legal and above board. Noise management and traffic management companies are appointed to adhere to the licensing terms set by the local council.’

He cited Victorious Festival in Southsea as an example of where a large well-organised festival can exist in harmony with nearby residents.

He added: ‘It’s a multi-million-pound event. It’s not some clown setting up an illegal rave.’

Mutiny In The Park attracted more than 3,000 people to Portsmouth last year and was backed by music channel MTV. Cllr Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said promoters had approached the authority with a view to using Southsea Common, but the diary was full.

King George V field in Cosham was offered, but the dates in July clashed with Portsmouth hosting the America’s Cup.

Cllr Jones said: ‘Unfortunately Portsmouth has been unable to accommodate Mutiny In The Park this year.’

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