Setback for Sodbury music festival plans

March 01 2015

HOPES of staging a music event in the centre of Chipping Sodbury have been dashed through lack of civic support – but it could still go ahead at a different venue.

HOPES of staging a music event in the centre of Chipping Sodbury have been dashed through lack of civic support – but it could still go ahead at a different venue.
Alistair Gregson, of Broad Street, approached Sodbury Town Council with his idea of a two-day family-friendly festival aimed at attracting up to 5,000 people.
He wanted to use his expertise as a project manager for big events to provide a weekend of entertainment.
But town councillors decided against giving it their backing, leading to a plan B for Mr Gregson.
He is now looking at a green field site nearby for the event, which would mean an increased capacity and the possibility of a third day being added.
Mr Gregson works for a company that provides generators for large scale events and festivals and said he would have ensured all the necessary infrastructure for such a project was in place.
He wanted to bring some well known names to the town and said local businesses, such as caterers and pubs, would have benefited.
But despite his CV, the council did not have enthusiasm for the proposal. Its markets committee had originally rejected the idea, raising concerns about disruption to businesses and residents, as well as noise disturbance. A meeting of the full council later followed suit in opposing the plan.
Undeterred, Mr Gregson pursued an alternative location in the vicinity of the town.
He said: “If I can get the venue sewn up, I’m looking to stage the event on September 4 and 5 this year. If not, then I would wait until June 2016.
“I want to have a big screen and a proper stage. I want to get local organisations involved, have competitions for schools and limit the price of tickets, with acts that will appeal to local people.
“All I had been looking for from the town council was it to say it liked the idea of having an event in the centre of Chipping Sodbury. It’s disappointing I didn’t get that.”