Grant­ing of li­cence is music to West­fest or­gan­is­ers’ ears

Fences must be erected to en­sure rev­ellers do not con­tra­vene by­law

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - STE­FAN MORKIS smorkis@the­courier.co.uk

It’s all sys­tems go for West­fest 2017 af­ter Dundee City Coun­cil granted a li­cence for the Mag­dalen Green Big Sun­day event next month.

The gala day, which last year at­tracted more than 10,000 peo­ple through­out the day, will take place on Sun­day June 4.

As well as the li­cence news, or­gan­is­ers have also an­nounced the live music lineup for the main stage and the dance tent.

Head­lin­ers Rise Kag­ona and the Jit Jive Band from Ed­in­burgh are back by pop­u­lar de­mand and they will be joined by the Dundee Schools Rock Band, young in­die band Kashmir Crows, The Got Soul Choir, Mi­ami Vince and the David Bowie trib­ute act, Bowie Night.

The dance tent will fea­ture the Bom­bay Club DJs, Au­todisco and North­ern Soul DJs.

There will be big changes this year as, for the first time, fences are to be erected around the en­tire site and fes­ti­val-go­ers will not be al­lowed to bring their own al­co­hol to the event. Only al­co­hol

At times it looked as if Big Sun­day would be can­celled but we fi­nally came to a com­pro­mise and fenc­ing off the ma­jor­ity of Mag­dalen Green was in­evitable. GED GOURLAY

pur­chased at the of­fi­cial bars can be con­sumed, af­ter Po­lice Scot­land in­ter­vened fol­low­ing last year’s fes­ti­val.

Po­lice ob­jected to peo­ple con­sum­ing al­co­hol on the green in con­tra­ven­tion of the local by­law which pro­hibits the con­sump­tion of al­co­hol in pub­lic places, any­where in the city of Dundee, with­out an ap­pro­pri­ate li­cence.

Dundee City Coun­cil li­cens­ing of­fi­cers were there­fore un­will­ing to grant a li­cence for the event and it took months of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­fore the West­fest com­mit­tee agreed on a com­pro­mise mea­sure to erect fenc­ing and pro­vide more bars to al­low for the con­sump­tion of al­co­hol.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Ged Gourlay said: “We re­ally had no choice, oth­er­wise there would not have been a West­fest Big Sun­day this year.

“Over the last few years the event has been breach­ing this by­law and we have been in­formed that this would not be tol­er­ated for any fu­ture event.

“At times it looked as if Big Sun­day would be can­celled but we fi­nally came to a com­pro­mise and fenc­ing off the ma­jor­ity of Mag­dalen Green was in­evitable.

“While we felt good that we achieved this com­pro­mise, this comes at a great cost to the run­ning of Big Sun­day as we need to raise the money not only to fund the fence (erec­tion and dis­man­tling), there are other ad­di­tional costs for se­cu­rity to en­sure that we com­ply with the re­quire­ments for the li­cence.

“As the event has grown it in­tro­duces more as­pects of poli­cies which need to be ad­dressed and com­plied with.”

Thousands of peo­ple en­joyed last year’s event which was graced by fine weather.

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