No prosecution for Boomtown despite licensing breaches

9:00am Saturday 22nd December 2012

WINCHESTER civic chiefs have ruled out prosecuting Boomtown Festival for breaches of licensing conditions.

But landowner Peveril Bruce and festival directors have been warned further breaches could result in prosecution and a review of their licence.

The festival at Matterley Bowl in August generated several noise complaints, and allegations that the premises licence held by Mr Bruce had been breached.

Council officers investigated and said some minor technical conditions were broken but they caused no problems or danger to the public at the event.

Noise conditions were imposed in the licence, and set a maximum level for music off site. These limits were breached, although the organisers lowered the volume when the breaches became apparent.

One factor this year was the wind which unusually changed direction pushing the music noise towards Winchester.

Another allegation was that music carried on after midnight on the Sunday. The organisers claimed this was incidental music, which is not licensable. The music at that time resulted in one complaint being received.

In a statement, the council said it had to consider whether there was a realistic prospect of securing convictions and if it was in the public interest to prosecute.

Taking into account the evidence, the mitigating circumstances and the level of penalty which was likely to be imposed it was decided that prosecution was not appropriate.

John Myall, licensing manager, said: “The council takes the licensing of events very seriously to ensure that they are safe for attendees, and also do not impact too negatively on local residents. We work with licence holders and events promoters to evaluate events and ensure conditions are being met, and we will take formal action where appropriate.”

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