Licence Application for Southbeats Festival

Further to our client’s application for a premises licence we are writing to you to provide a response to the representations received. The information below is intended for wider circulation to those who have made representations. We will also distribute the below via the community sign up mailing list.

We have reviewed all the representations in detail. As part of our ongoing commitment to engagement the information below provides details of our broader responses. It is in addition to more detailed discussions of which you are aware.

Most of the representations we received raised one or more concerns. We have reviewed the representations made and our analysis of the most significant concerns is as follows:

Issue Raised in Representations Estimated % of All Representations Raised

Traffic (disruption to network) 26%

Noise (levels and timings) 21%

Anti-Social Behaviour 15%

Environmental (waste and ecology) 6%

Alcohol (quantities allowed in)/Parking 6% (each)

Local Benefit 4%

Other issues raised each represent less that 3% each 16% 

Responding to Representations

 In order to address the representations, we have taken three approaches:

 ·     Provide information about what is already planned and discussed with the Licensing Authorities

·     Review our plans to make changes that will be agreed with the Licensing Authorities

·     Propose Conditions that can be included within the terms of the Premises Licence

Minimising Traffic Disruption

We have reviewed our Transport Plan, the planning document informing us how people travel to and from the festival, and the Traffic Management Plan, the document that sets out how we manage traffic in and around the festival site. We continue to engage with the Police, highways departments and Southeast Trains. Our Traffic Management provider, coach and shuttle providers have all be asked to review their plans. We are also providing a Park & Ride service (details in ‘Introducing Park & Ride section below).

The majority of those attending the festival will use public transport (train and coach). Small numbers will come by car and a smaller number by taxi or dropped off by family and friends. Coach and parking tickets need to be purchased in advance, so we are able to refine our travel estimates up to the event to ensure they operate smoothly. Public transport will be heavily promoted by the festival as the safest, most cost effective and environmentally friendly way to get to and from the event. Historic data indicates that public transport, including coaches, are the preferred method of transport for the festival’s attendees.

A highly experienced Kent transport provider will operate a shuttle service between Borough Green and Swanley stations on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The frequency of the service is based on the arrival and departure times of trains and projected arrival and departure times of attendees. Festival stewards and security will be at both stations throughout. A check will be carried out at the bus stop (either the festival or station depending on route) of attendee's ticket confirmation, prior to boarding the shuttle.

Southeastern Trains will provide an extended train service on Saturday and Sunday night. We have been working with them for some months, sharing information about estimated numbers and timings. On departure, attendees will be split between Swanley station for travel towards London and Borough Green station for onward travel to Kent. If any attendees are unable to reach the last trains, their shuttle service will route them to the nearest large town with transport infrastructure to enable their onward journey.

Department of Transport data reviewed in the festival planning process indicates an average of 17,000 vehicles use the A20 past the festival location each day. During the period of building and taking down the festival we estimate an additional 50 vehicles per day.

When the festival is open, we anticipate the following peaks as attendees arrive and depart:

 

Day Peak Start Peak End Est. Vehicles*

Friday Arrivals – Festival Site 17:00 21:00 450

Saturday Arrivals – Festival Site 11:00 15:00 115

Saturday Arrivals – Brands Hatch 1500

Saturday Departures – Festival Site 22:30 01:00 115

Saturday Departures – Brands Hatch 1500

Sunday Arrivals – Festival Site 11:00 15:00 115

Sunday Arrivals – Brands Hatch 1400

Sunday Departures – Festival Site 22:00 00:30 115

Sunday Departures – Brands Hatch 1400

Monday Departures – Festival Site 08:00 10:30 450

* Includes each arrival and departure of a coach or shuttle i.e. a shuttle bus arriving at site and departing site is counted as two vehicles.

Although a large part of the festival’s traffic movement will be outside peak road use times there will be some impact. The traffic management contractor employed by the festival to plan and management traffic has reviewed their plans in detail. They are highly experienced and manage the traffic and parking at around 750 events throughout the UK each year.

They will put their plans into place through a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO), reviewed and granted by highway agencies. This provides them with the legal powers to implement and enforce the plans for the festival. These measures will include:

·     Detailed signage providing clear directions to and from the festival sites to ensure the correct arrival and departure of attendees, staff and contractors

·     “No stopping” and “No Parking” restrictions that will be strictly enforced throughout the festival show days

·     Temporary speed restrictions and temporary traffic lights to improve safety and manage traffic flow to reduce congestion

·     Direct communication links with the highways agencies to monitor traffic flows and respond to reduce the impact from festival traffic

·     Management of coaches, shuttles, cars and taxis coming to and from the site and within the site to manage flow and impact on the road network

Introduction of Park & Ride

Since the application for a Premises Licence was submitted, we have confirmed we are now able to provide a park and ride service operating from Brands Hatch.

All day parking, taxi services and pick up and drop off (PUDO) will operate from Brands Hatch. All attendees using these services will connected to the site, on arrival and departure, via a rotating shuttle service. A ticket confirmation check will be undertaken prior to boarding the shuttle to the festival at Brands Hatch.

All attendees arriving by pre booked coach and the shuttle services to and from the stations will operate directly from the event site as before. All attendees, except campers, those arriving by car or taxi and being dropped off/picked up by family or friends will be directed to Brands Hatch and brought to and from the site via the shuttle service.

Campers arriving in their own vehicle will be directed to the onsite car park as before.

Management of Noise

The festival has appointed a specialist noise management consultant to assist in the planning, design and layout of the festival. Their role is to support the design and operation of the festival to minimise noise disruption and ensure noise levels remain within those agreed as part of the Premises Licence within the Noise Management Plan.

The current Noise Management Plan has informed the layout of the site, the direction of stages and will input into the design of the amplified sound systems to reduce the impact from noise. The plan also set limits for the volume of noise and noise frequencies that are based on national guidance.

Noise and frequency levels are monitored throughout the period of the festival. Measurements will be taken at agreed points in the surrounding area. These are reported daily to the Licensing Authorities. The noise consultants are constantly in contact with the festival and are able to immediately request adjustments in the event that the noise levels are not within the agreed parameters or need improvement.

A 24-hour resident contact number will be in operation from Friday through until Monday for residents to reach out to the festival and raise concerns. This number will be staffed 24 hours a day. Noise concerns will be investigated, sound levels measured and adjusted if required. 

The licence application is for live music to continue until 02:00. Our initial plan was that all performances in the main arena would cease at midnight and that a lower level of noise would be allowed to continue in the campsite until 02:00.

Following a review of the representations we are proposing changes to the plans and the licence:

·     Change the time of the end of performances in the main arena from 00:00 to 23:00 on Sunday

·     Change the end time of performances of music from 02:00 on the Sunday (Monday morning) to 01:00

·     Reduce the levels of noise within the campsite so it is clearly defined as background noise and an appropriate volume level set that will be actively monitored and enforced

·     The result of the above changes will be:

o  Saturday

§ Main Arena performances until 00:00

§ Campsite lower level background music till 02:00 (Sunday morning)

o  Sunday

§ Main Arena performances until 23:00

§ Campsite lower level background music till 01:00 (Monday morning)

 Managing Anti-Social Behaviour

The event has to demonstrate to the Licensing Authorities that it has the resources and plans in place to manage itself without recourse to police, ambulance and fire services except in exceptional circumstances. We have been engaging directly with emergency services and sharing our plans with them as part of the planning process. This will continue up to and during the festival.

An experienced Kent based security company has been appointed by the festival. They have developed detailed plans for ensuring the festival provides a safe and acceptable environment for patrons and reduces the risk of anti-social behaviour impacting the local community. They will be supported by stewards providing additional customer service support.

Security are on site 24-hours a day from the start of the build of the festival until the site is clear at the end of the show period. Security and stewards will be at all the transport hubs, on the transport routes and throughout the festival site, including within the immediate local area. We are liaising with British Transport Police via Kent Police.

The event site is enclosed with secure fencing. This is a condition of the licence and defines the footprint of the licensed area. CCTV is in operation throughout the site and its perimeter. A CCTV operator will be on duty 24-hours a day within the Event Control Centre when the event is in operation.

At the request of a small number of residents adjacent to the site, we are providing them with an additional security resource. Secondary to this, we will have a response team who are able to attend the local area to investigate any reports. In the event specific action is required, security have limited powers and will liaise with Kent Police through a protocol agreed in advance.

During the festival period, all attendees are subject to strict entry criteria and searches are implemented at all public access points. Staff, contractor and artist entry points are secured and staffed at all times. Access within the site is strictly controlled through wristbands and passes with access to restricted areas managed by security.

In the event an attendee is refused access to the site, or removed from the event for any reason, they will be escorted to the nearest transport hub and will not be left in the local area. All entry refusals and ejections are recorded, and the records made available to the Licensing Authorities.

We have been working closely with Kent Police in the planning of the event and will continue up to and through the event. We are agreeing protocols for communication, information sharing and for the prevention and investigation of any crimes relating to the festival. 

In addition to the security and stewarding we have a fully equipped event medical team, event fire team and event welfare team onsite throughout the event.

Managing the Supply of Alcohol

The provision of bars across the event is being managed by one of the UK’s largest festival bar operators within significant experience and robust procedures.

Challenge 25 will operate across all the bars. Although attendees will be required to be over 18, those who look to the bar staff to be under 25 will be required to provide ID. Anyone who is intoxicated will not be served and this refusal will be recorded in a log. A log of all refusals will be available for licensing authorities onsite.

No attendee, except campers, are allowed to bring alcohol on to site. Campers in the initial year will be restricted to 12 cans and 1 litre of wine or premixed sprit in a plastic container. This is only allowed into the campsite and not into the main arena.

Reducing Environmental Impacts

The festival is committed to taking all reasonable steps to reduce its impact on the environment and working towards long-term sustainability. The appointed waste management contractor is a highly experienced event and festival operator and is advising on ways we can reduce waste and maximise recycling.

There will be extensive waste collection and management resources on site. The waste management team will live on site during the festival period and take responsibility for the external perimeter of the site as well as internal areas. The resident contact phone number will be a way for external litter and waste outside to be reported and a team can be sent to clean.

Single use plastics will be significantly reduced with a view to eradicating them permanently. Customers are not allowed to bring glass onto site.

Ground protection will be installed in significant heavy traffic areas within the site to minimise the impacts of vehicle movement. This measure will aim to keep the site fully operational in the event of adverse weather. 

Local Benefit

Southbeats Festival is a Kent based event and in prior years over 70% of the attendees have come from the County. The owners of the festival are a Kent based business and they live and work in the County.

Wherever possible we aim to use local suppliers and contribute to the local economy. Our security provider, fire service provider, and largest infrastructure provider are all Kent based businesses. Our infrastructure supplier is local to the event. The shuttle operator and approved taxi providers will be local companies and we have booked our hotels locally. As we employ and confirm our team we will try to recruit as many people from the local area as possible, this will include stewards, bar staff and crew.

The organisers have also sought to include as many Kent based businesses in the festival days as possible. This includes Kent based food producers and other retail operators on the site.

Resident Engagement

We appreciate that any event impacts the community and we have committed to ongoing engagement locally. From the early stages of planning we have been engaging with local residents. A community mailing system has been set up and three mailings sent out since the start of planning (the link to sign up is www.proudevents.co.uk/southbeats). We have held three open meetings at The Moat in Wrotham and an email address for queries has been in operation since the start of engagement southbeats@proudevents.co.uk

Following feedback from the community, we have extended our leaflet drops to promote the open meetings and will continue to extend our range to areas that are impacted by the festival. We are committed to ongoing engagement up to and following from the festival. 

We hope the above information provides a helpful review of the plans for the festival and an update on how the festival is responding to the representations. We will continue to engage openly through all the agreed channels, including the Safety Advisor Group.