Concerns have been raised over a ‘drink and drug-fuelled’ festival that is due to take place at a park in Reading this summer.

The Stories in the Park events have been taking place for four years at Palmer Park in East Reading.

In previous years, the festival has had huge dance music acts Chase & Status, Andy C and Sub Focus as headliners.

However, neighbours have complained about the festival organiser’s plan to increase capacity from 4,999 to 9,999.

There have been complaints about revellers, who are mostly students, urinating, being loud and smashing glass in streets around Palmer Park.

READ MORE: Park in Reading set for huge events this summer 

A neighbour said: “Palmer Park was gifted to the town as a PARK for the community and a much needed area for sporting activities not large, drink and drug fuelled student events.

“It is a nuisance to those children who have to contend with trying to get children to sleep with loud music booming out in the background, plus the children’s play areas become unsafe to use thanks to the large numbers of drunken young people staggering around the park and surrounding streets.”

The neighbour noted that drunkenness was not the only issue. They said: “My neighbours and I have stood and watched as young people have bought and taken drugs in broad daylight and have used the library walls as a urinal.

“Once again my neighbours and I will no doubt find ourselves faced with either the choice of vacating our properties or feeling barricaded in our homes for the duration of the event.”

Reading Chronicle: The Stories in the Park event at Palmer Park in East Reading, organised by company T&M Leisure Reading Ltd. Credit: Curate GroupThe Stories in the Park event at Palmer Park in East Reading, organised by company T&M Leisure Reading Ltd. Credit: Curate Group

A fellow neighbour argued that The Stories in the Park already causes a disturbance at its current capacity.

They said: “As a resident of Palmer Park, I feel there are too many events in the park as it is and increasing the capacity of the existing ones will just further the noise, disruption and disorderly behaviour that residents experience at these times.”

The festival is organised by T&M Leisure, which has applied for a licence for the event and more from Reading Borough Council.

A total of five objections were received.

As well as Stories in the Park, the company also wants to host a student boxing event, an orchestra playing Ibiza classics, and a boy bands triple bill.

If T&M Leisure’s plans go ahead, the following events will take place:

  • Thursday, June 13, 2024 – Student boxing event
  • Friday,  June 14, 2024 – Ibiza Summertime Live Orchestra
  • Saturday, June 15, 2024 – Stories in the Park dance music event
  • Sunday, June 16, 2024 – Blue, Scouting for Girls, and Boyzlife

Toby Mullins, the CEO of T&M Leisure, has been contacted for a reply.

The licence for the events this June is set to be decided at a licensing applications sub-committee meeting on Thursday, February 1.