Festival organiser bids for licence – just three days before Gosport event starts

Crowds at a previous GosFest
Crowds at a previous GosFest
  • One of the brains behind ill-fated Gosfest plans to bring thousands to music festival in Stokes Bay
  • Council previously pulled land booking for Gosfest in 2015 but have given permission for land use this month
  • Event does not have a premises licence with decision to be made three days before launch
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A FESTIVAL organiser has said he is confident his new music festival will go ahead – despite the fact that the event does not yet have a licence.

Paul Cobb is the brains behind the planned Driftwood Music Festival in Gosport’s Stoke Bay later this month.

Paul Cobb

Paul Cobb

The three-day event on the weekend of July 28-30 is expected to bring thousands to the seafront.

But despite the event being advertised online, Mr Cobb is yet to have obtained a premises licence to hold the event.

Gosport Borough Council’s licensing board will meet to discuss the application on Tuesday, July 25 – just three days before the event is due to start.

Mr Cobb told The News: ‘We have got everything in place for the festival.

We are satisfied that his event management plan is good and the SAG were satisfied that everything is in place for the event to be held.

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council

‘We just need to get hold of the premises licence and are confident we should run in to no problems in obtaining one.’

The organiser was one of the brains behind the ill-fated Gosfest, which was cancelled in June 2015 after the event failed to pin down a venue and lost all three headline acts in 24 hours.

A protracted court case involving Mr Cobb and former 2013 festival partner Dave Smith, in addition to financial issues, led to the borough council pulling the plug on the land booking.

Thousands of customers were given refunds.

But following a meeting of the council’s Safety Advisory Group earlier this year, it was agreed to allow Mr Cobb permission to use Stokes Bay for Driftwood.

Councillor Mark Hook, the council leader said: ‘We are satisfied that his event management plan is good and the SAG was satisfied that everything is in place for the event to be held.

‘The premises licence will be determined based on the licensing principles. It is up to the licensing board to make a decision and no decision has been predetermined.’

The council currently has its own licence to hold events at Stokes Bay.

Mr Cobb said: ‘We are looking to obtain a licence to carry out most of the same activities that the council can with its existing licence.’

Lib Dem councillor Peter Chegwyn said: ‘I think there are serious concerns with the event given the history with Gosfest.’

He added: ‘Gosport got a lot of bad publicity during the fallout.’

Tickets for the event will be available on the day at £3.