Regulating UK Festivals


(Jason McGuire) #1

Not sure about other events but the UK music festival scene at the moment is taking a massive hit. At the weekend another festival shambles was cancelled in Liverpool at Hope & Glory festival. A week ago Y-Not festival was also pulled and it seems this is happening more and more.

From poor ticket sales, bad planning, cutting corners like no security, not enough toilet facilities etc it is getting out of hand.

Is it time that festivals were properly regulated?

My festival is only small but I work all year round for a 3 day event to make sure everything is well prepared. We do not scrimp on security, toilets or anything else. Its shocking that these events are pulling in £1m+ and still having to cancel due to their own mistakes. Our budget is less than £20,000 and yes, a lot less people but surely they should go with the basics of the 7Ps:

Proper Planning and Preparation Prevent Piss Poor Performance!!!


(Belinda Booker) #2

Just playing devil’s advocate, but if it became too bureaucratic would it not deter small, independent festivals such as yours, making it too difficult and costly to get started?

Maybe local authorities could offer guidance on minimum toilet provisions, stewards, security etc. (based on number of attendees) seeing as they will already be engaging with the organisers at a SAG level?


(Jason McGuire) #3

Yes probably. Its just shocking the way people just rock up with an event, take peoples money and fail on so many safety levels. Many of these events do not do festival insurance. They do not do risk assessments, they are not registering/paying PRS, taking payments via personal Paypal accounts meaning if cancelled its hard to get refunds, not getting SIA badged staff, liaising with local authorities etc but somehow getting away with it. How, I do not know!

We do everything by the book. We are fully registered as a business with an accountant and business bank account. We have 24 hour badged security. All our traders have to provide insurance and hygiene certificates. We make sure we plan meetings regularly and all authorities are informed.

We do not make any profit, we barely break even but we are only 3 years old. We haven’t made a loss but not made a proper profit yet and we don’t expect to any time soon. Its a long term project but walking before we run.

I do think something needs to be done. No idea what. Whether local authorities needs to clampdown on TEN licenses or ask a few more questions first. Due diligence should be done before a festival can be registered maybe?

Any ideas from anyone?