Flagship green event, The Big Green Gathering was threatened with High Court injunction proceedings if they were unable to satisfy a number of concerns that Mendip District Council had. In a statement released today, Directors of The Big Green Gathering have been forced to cancel the 2009 festival, surrendering their license for the event.
The much loved and well attended family friendly green festival, which attracts around 20,000 visitors, caters for most tastes and covers many aspects of sustainability and environmental concerns. Activities on site would have included arts and crafts fields, a healing area where people can try alternative therapies and treatments, a children’s area and campaigns fields, as well as providing a range of eating and entertainment experiences for those attending, including music presented in tents powered by renewable energy.
Mendip District Council threatened the injunction, supported by the police, on grounds of concerns about security, requesting that The Big Green Gathering employed a security firm to satisfy their concern. Further concerns such as dissatisfaction that adequate signage directing visitors to the location of the festival and sufficient risk assessments, fire, policing and ambulance services were in place or could be put in place by the start of the festival on Wednesday added fuel to the council’s argument and left the directors of The Big Green Gathering with no alternative than to cancel the event.
Councillor Tom Killon said the council had tried to work closely with the organisers of the green festival to ensure smooth running of the event, and although the license for the event was granted on 30th June with the organisers being under the impression that any problems had been resolved, Killon said that the emergency services and council had remaining unconvinced that enough had been done to enable safe running of the event. He said,
“When there is a risk to public safety and the potential for crime and disorder then we have no other option but to ensure that the event does not take place.
“Although I accept that this will come as a disappointment to some, we have a duty to protect the public.”
The director’s statement echoes communications from Avon and Somerset Police, and urges people who were planning to attend the event not to make the journey as police would likely turn them away. They are keen to discourage confrontation and public disorder despite being fully aware of the unhappiness the decision to cancel the event will cause.