Hit fes­ti­val heads for missed year

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Town Centre Changes - By Molly Mile­ham-Chap­pell

One of Ten­ter­den’s big­gest an­nual events is set to “take a well-earned break” next year after months of com­plaints around this year’s fes­ti­val.

The s hock news was an­nounced on the Ten­ter­tain­ment Face­book page on Tues­day evening, less than 48 hours after the end of this year’s mu­sic fes­ti­val – judged by many to have been the best yet.

Ten­ter­tain­ment, which took place last week­end, will not run in 2018, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of the Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val, which is also tak­ing a ‘fal­low year’.

But the de­ci­sion has sparked out­rage from hun­dreds of an­gry Ten­ter­tain­ment fans, who say the or­gan­is­ers have done a fan­tas­tic job each year in pro­vid­ing the town with a lead­ing event to en­joy and be proud of.

They are also fu­ri­ous that a small group of “killjoy” res­i­dents have made such a fuss about an event that only runs for three days each year.

Or­gan­is­ers for the Ten­ter­den fes­ti­val – which at­tract thou­sands of res­i­dents and visi­tors to the recre­ation ground each July – say they have made the de­ci­sion to can­cel next year’s event after is­sues with res­i­dents liv­ing near the rec and Ten­ter­den Town Council (TTC) over noise lev­els, the stage lo­ca­tion and other mat­ters.

This year’s fes­ti­val was al­most can­celled after TTC wanted to re­lo­cate the main stage to al­le­vi­ate noise com­plaints.

In their Face­book state­ment the or­gan­is­ers said: “First of all, we’d like to thank ev­ery­one who has sup­ported this event over the years. It’s been a blast!

“It has been a true plea­sure for us to meet so many amaz- ing people. For us as or­gan­is­ers this last fes­ti­val was a bit­ter­sweet mix­ture of spec­tac­u­lar suc­cess, with a truly great at­mos­phere ev­ery day, and a huge per­sonal and pro­fes­sional chal­lenge.

“We started the event some­what worn down and em­bat­tled by com­plaints.

“As vol­un­teers who have busy fam­ily lives and day jobs to con­tend with, the work that goes in to plan­ning, ap­ply­ing, li­ais­ing over and then stag­ing Ten­ter­tain­ment eats into a lot of our lim­ited time and en­ergy lev­els.

“For that rea­son we have all agreed that we do need to take a well-earned break.

“So we will use 2018 to con­sider the im­pact on a mu­sic fes­ti­val of the new plans for the recre­ation ground, the new terms and con­di­tions for hir­ing the recre­ation ground and the on­go­ing ‘bat­tle’ that seems to be hap­pen­ing in the town re­gard­ing noise and events gen­er­ally. There­fore, we will put out dates for Ten­ter­tain­ment 2019.

“We be­lieve that the wants and feel­ings of many people in the town are not ac­cu­rately or ad­e­quately rep­re­sented where they should be.

“Con­sid­er­a­tion should of course be given to ev­ery­one, but de­ci­sions should be weighted cor­rectly and re­flect the views of the vast ma­jor­ity, too.

“So for now, from the TT team, this is not good­bye – but see you all in 2019!”

Claire Gil­bert from TTC said: “We will be mak­ing a full re­sponse on Mon­day for next week’s pa­per.”

For pic­ture spe­cial on this year’s Ten­ter­tain­ment see pages 30-31

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, Unit 4, Park Mall Shop­ping Cen­tre, Ash­ford, TN24 8RY or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group. co.uk

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