POLICE and the council want to shut down a new festival in Wasing Park due to concerns it could cause noise complaints.

Medicine Festival would take place from Thursday, August 27, through to Monday, August 31, two miles away from Aldermaston.

The wellness festival, which would be held for the first time this year, focuses on physical, mental, environmental and social health. About 2,000 people are expected to attend.

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Its website invites guests to “share the power of music and ceremony, the coherence and insights of ancestral wisdom, … the nourishment of food, and the inspiration of visionary thought.”

But Thames Valley Police and West Berkshire Council have both raised concerns — so they are objecting to the application for a premises licence, needed to run the festival.

A police licensing officer and a council environmental health officer will make their case to the licensing sub-committee at the council on Tuesday, February 25. Councillors will then take a few days to decide whether to grant or object to the premises licence.

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In a report to that meeting, Russell Davidson, a council environmental health officer, said: “Live and recorded music will be occurring on site for nearly 80 hours over five days.

“Events with live music — electronic dance music, similar to the music proposed for this event — have occurred previously in this location, notably in 2006 and 2008. This resulted in a huge number of complaints and led to a review of the premises licence.

“This licence was subsequently surrendered.”

Gary Clarke, a police licensing officer, said in a report to the same meeting, that the festival’s website “gave some details of the events to be held during the festival, and under music there was reference to early morning raves. This has since been removed.”

He said: “Wasing Park itself has its own premises licence, and restrictions were placed on that licence in August 2015, following noise complaints from the venue.

“As a result of this, licensable activities outdoors finish at 10pm, with the exception of late night refreshment [meaning selling hot food or drink] which is licensed to 3.30am.

“This is my primary reason for objecting to the proposed licence as it stands.”

Jenna Ansell, the event’s general manager, said: “We’ve been having positive discussions with the local authorities in regards to licensing, and we’re hopeful that we’ll secure the required licence for Medicine festival.

“This new gathering promises to be an exciting and pioneering event, and of great benefit to the local area on many levels, including economically.” 

A spokesman for the festival added that:

  • There will be no personal allowance of alcohol permitted
  • Bars will be serving no alcohol whatsoever
  • Sound levels will be monitored at all time to ensure strict compliance with licensing conditions
  • The festival is working closely with the police to make sure it runs “as smoothly and safely as possible”