New music festival for Stratford?

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The Racecourse was set to be the venue.

ELVIS Presley, George Michael and Robbie Williams – these could be among the tribute acts taking centre stage at Stratford Racecourse next August for a major new music festival.

An application by GB Holdings (UK) Limited has been made to Stratford District Council’s licensing officers for an annual event for up to 9,999 people that would be held on the inner track of the racecourse site and involve tributes acts aimed at a family audience and then further acts – for a younger audience – would appear on a second stage and include the likes of Little Mix, Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande tributes.

Ian Rogers, spokesperson and joint organiser of the proposed event, said on behalf of GB Holdings: “Stratford Racecourse is a great site and Stratford is an exciting town and what we’re trying to do is create a family fun festival in a safe environment for the people of Stratford and surrounding area. It is not a rave – far from it. It’s a festival that will benefit the town, bring in more people looking for something to do and it would boost the income of Stratford. We would look to finish at 10.30pm each day even though the licence application is for 11pm. We would like to reassure residents within the parameter of the racecourse that this is a family event.”

He added that Saturday, 22nd and Sunday, 23rd August are the dates they are working towards with the management team at Stratford Racecourse with Friday, 21st August set aside for an outdoor cinema screening followed by a tribute band.

Some residents living near the racecourse say the first they knew about the proposed event was when they spotted A4 sized notices promoting the music festival positioned at various points near the racecourse.

Steve Righton has lived next to the racecourse for the past 16 years. He said he’s used to there being some sort of summer event staged there, but he’s concerned the proposed music festival could turn into a ‘mini Glastonbury’.

“I live 40 yards to the left of the main stand and I love live music. Other events have live music or tribute bands, but the stage is pointing away from houses. I’m always concerned about the lack of things for youngsters to do and I agree there should be more for them. I saw a posted notice attached to a lamppost about the event which refers to regulated entertainment so my number one concern is noise. Unless you walked a dog you wouldn’t know much, it’s like a shroud of not knowing,” Mr Righton added.

The last date for representations on this application is Thursday, 26th December. These can be made in writing to the Licensing Authority, Stratford District Council, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford, CV37 6HX.  Email: licensing@stratford-dc.gov.uk