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Stage set for a final Stanmer Shakedown Festival
A music festival in a beauty spot is to go ahead despite mass opposition from conservationists.
Shakedown Festival has been granted permission by Brighton and Hove City Council to return to Stanmer Park in September.
Last year’s event attracted 17,000 people but provoked anger from locals who said it turned the grassy site into a mudbath which was not repaired.
On Tuesday (January 29) the council announced it had given landlord’s consent for the event to take place on the weekend of September 28 and 29 this year.
Organisers say a one-day Shakedown will take place on Saturday, followed by a separate second one-day event with a family focus on the Sunday.
They have agreed to make this the last Shakedown at Stanmer Park and are already in talks with the city council over a new venue next year.
Coun Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the council’s economic development and culture committee, said: “I think it would be disingenuous to ignore there were a number of aspects of last year’s Shakedown Festival that could have been handled better by the organisers.
“These weaknesses have been publicly acknowledged by the organisers. The council will be building in robust conditions into the agreement to take account of those concerns.”
He said that last year’s festival created £250,000 from 50 contracts with local companies.
The decisions were made after meetings with organisers and their opponents.
The council said people living in Stanmer will be kept informed of plans, traffic would be managed throughout and “metal roads” would be laid in the park.
Shakedown promoter Steve Jones said most of this year’s acts have been booked, but the line-up will not be revealed until later in the year.
Early-bird tickets are due to go on sale this month.
He said: “Last year the park wasn’t left in a state we would be happy with. It became clear that looking long-term, it wasn’t a sustainable event at the park.
“We recognise it is a nature reserve and of natural importance.”
He said this year planning would ensure that even a repeat of 2012’s wet summer would not lead to damage to the park.
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