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News Archive > General > Festival seeks to increase capacity

Festival seeks to increase capacity

By Warren Wilkins 24th January 2018

Festival seeks to increase capacity
The Boardmasters Festival

A LOCAL councillor has raised concerns after it was revealed the town's biggest annual music festival plans to apply to increase its capacity by 3,000 saying the extra numbers would be staff.

The Boardmasters Festival which takes place on a site at Watergate Bay each August currently has a licence for 49,999 people at the cliff top site. The extra 3,000 staff would represent one for every fifteen festival goers.

Vision Nine states in information seen by the Voice, the extra numbers will be for security, stewarding, welfare, medical provision, traffic management and waste management to ensure the safety of festival-goers, improve the clear-up after the event, reduce traffic congestion and help protect the environment.

But Cornwall Councillor for St Mawgan, John Fitter responded querying why such a large increase in staff is needed, saying he would need to see detailed evidence to support the application.

Cllr Fitter said: “My first reaction is one of concern in that if the organisers have decided that they need an extra 3,000 people to cover among other things increased safety, stewarding, welfare, medical, traffic management and waste management, does this indicates that in the previous year 2017 there was a shortage of personnel to manage these areas and is this something that has been picked up by Cornwall Council officers?

“I would certainly need to be provided with the facts and figures of how many people were employed in these roles last year before any support from me was forthcoming.

"Moving on to an extension of the site into the Happy Dick field, which has the nesting corn buntings, I understand that they claim to need this to allow the stage to be bettered positioned."

“Certainly I have been the voice in the wilderness in voicing concerns about certain elements of crowd safety at the 2017 event and so anything that can be done to address these concerns is to be welcomed.”

Vision Nine say in their application: “Boardmasters is requesting a small expansion of the boundary of the festival arena and a capacity increase to be utilised for growth of on-site staffing in key areas only.

“The site expansion will allow the stages to be better positioned, creating more space which will improve safety, sustainability and the overall festival experience.

“Every year, festival organisers strive to make Boardmasters better than ever before. Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, we believe that having permission to increase capacity from 49,999 to 53,000, solely for staffing requirements and performers, will create an even smoother event with better facilities, less disruption to the local area, increased safety for
festival goers and improved measures to protect the environment.

“Areas of staffing which would be increased include security, stewarding, welfare, medical, traffic management and waste management.

“Boardmasters’ ‘Green Team’ who keep the campsite, arena and surrounding areas as clean as possible, and oversee the clear-up after the event, would be increased by five times. This is in order to build on our successful clean-up operation, so that the area can be thoroughly cleared and tidied faster than in previous years, and to continue Boardmasters’ goal to leave the Cornish coast spotless and cleaner than when we arrived

“The traffic management team would be dramatically increased to improve traffic flow during the festival, also ensuring the roads are less congested for local people in the area. We aim to further speed up the process of guests exiting the festival, with more staff in place to make sure this happens smoothly and speedily. The welfare team will be tripled to ensure the safety of our festival-goers at all times.

“Boardmasters strives for the same common goal as Cornwall Council and local people to ensure the festival operates harmoniously in the area, to produce a safe, sustainable and enjoyable festival for all and to promote Cornwall on a global scale.”

By Warren Wilkins 24th January 2018

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