Musical festival gets reprieve

March 29 2015

Sodbury Live event planned for The Ridings

Under clear skies: The Chipping Sodbury Mop enjoyed good weather as the rides thrilled visitors.
AN alternative venue has been found for a music event in Chipping Sodbury after lack of civic support ruled out staging it in the town centre.
Alistair Gregson’s original idea to have the two-day family-friendly festival in the heart of the town failed to get the backing of Sodbury Town Council.
Undeterred, Mr Gregson looked at other possible sites and Sodbury Live – currently a working title – is now proposed to take place at The Ridings, off Wickwar Road, on September 4 and 5.
Mr Gregson, who lives in Broad Street, said: “It’s all looking really positive. We are definitely taking big steps in the right direction.”
He has met with Chipping Sodbury Town Trust, which administers The Ridings, and the next stage is to apply for a licence from South Gloucestershire Council.
Mr Gregson has also approached various agents regarding the kind of acts he wants to book.
It is anticipated to have a family-centric first night, followed by some well known bands on the second day, although no names will yet be announced.
Up to 5,000 people could go along to the festival and if it’s a success, the plan is to expand to three days in future years.
Mr Gregson works for a company that provides generators for large scale events and festivals. As a projectmanager for such entertainment, he said he had the credentials to provide a successful weekend of entertainment.
He said: “One of the advantages of The Ridings is it’s a green field site so we will build everything we need ourselves.
“We want people to have a really good time and for the first festival’s legacy to be a continuation into future years.”
It is planned to have a big screen and a stage at the site, with local organisations involved and competitions run for schools.
The price of tickets will be limited and the acts to be chosen will appeal to local people.
Mr Gregson had tried to persuade Sodbury councillors that having the event in the town centre would benefit local businesses such as caterers and pubs.
But the council had concerns about disruption to businesses and residents, as well as noise disturbance.