Express & Star

Licence granted for new music festival in Staffordshire

Families will be able to enjoy live music and outdoor activities at a new festival being staged near Stone after organisers were granted a licence for the event.

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The entrance to Kibblestone Scout Campsite near Stone. Photo: Google

The three-day Rising Festival is due to take place at Kibblestone Scout Campsite in early July, with a line-up including Bluedot Festival regulars Henge, as well as Bob Vylan and Dub Pistols.

The event will also offer a range of pursuits such as rock climbing, abseiling and archery for children and adults. Visitors will be able to camp onsite for two nights too, with facilities including a real ale bar run by local brewers and vendors selling locally produced food.

Organisers were granted permission from Stafford Borough Council on Tuesday for a premises licence to operate for three days each year, with live music to be performed between 12pm and 11pm on the Friday and Saturday of each event and recorded music from 2pm to 12.30am on the Friday and Saturday and 12pm to 12.30am on the Thursday.

Alcohol is set to be supplied between 2pm and 12am on the Thursday and 12pm to 12am on the Friday and Saturday, and late night refreshment offered between 11pm and 1am across all three days.

Some residents of nearby Oulton raised concerns about noise from the festival site, however, and Stone Rural Parish Council requested an earlier end to the serving of alcohol and late night refreshment.

A statement read out on behalf of two residents not present at Tuesday’s Licensing Sub-Committee meeting said they lived near the campsite and had previously experienced noise issues from other events there. They added: “We will be prevented from being able to use the outdoor areas of our property and we are also concerned the noise levels will be such that they will be audible indoors.

“This will cause issues for ourselves and our two young children, aged two and four years old, who will be in bed by 7pm. In the summer, when the weather is hot, we mostly sleep with the windows open and this will not be possible with noise nuisance.”

Parish councillor Susan Haine, speaking at Tuesday’s hearing, said: “The noise from the festival will not only be playing of music but general noise from the camping area which will affect all areas of the village during summer when residents wish to be in their gardens and have their windows open. We respectfully request the licensing authority consider the various times, in particular recorded music, sale of alcohol and late night refreshment are ended by 11.30pm each night.

“It is accepted that live music will stop at 11pm. The request follows Oulton Village Hall, where music and sales stop at 11.30pm and the hall is vacated at midnight.”

“The second part of our representation relates to highway access and traffic management. It is requested festival traffic be diverted away from the village and along Kibblestone Road.

“Access from Nicholls Lane and Vanity Lane onto the A520 is extremely hazardous. The A520 is winding and Nicholls Lane and Vanity Lane are single track roads with no passing places.”

Councillor Haine also spoke of parking issues in the village during previous events, which led to some residents being unable to move their cars from their drives. But Mark Dunn, who represented festival organisers at Tuesday’s hearing, said there would be onsite parking and they would not be allowing visitors to park along nearby roads.

He added: “We have a comprehensive traffic management plan in place to address problems and it won’t be coming through the village. They will be coming in on the other road and there will be no external parking at all.

“The team behind the festival has over 15 years’ experience of organising family-orientated events. The scale of events is dictated by the venue’s capacity and location and this is being capped under 2,000 people.

“We have engaged in extensive discussion with authorities, including local police and environmental health. We are committed to maintaining an open line with all agencies to ensure collaboration continues up to, during and after the event.”

Mr Dunn also gave details of noise management measures to the sub-committee, including directing sound away from residential areas and monitoring of sound levels to comply with regulations. He added that a security team would be on site and anyone found to be behaving in an unacceptable manner would be warned of the consequences, and if they persisted they would be required to leave the site and banned from the organisers’ future events.

He said: “This is part of the organisers’ aim for a positive experience for all involved and to ensure the event remains enjoyable for everybody. We are committed to taking all necessary steps to guarantee the music festival will be a harmonious addition to the area.”