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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Cumbria's latest music festival to be silenced?

Police have objected to plans for a 3,000 capacity music festival in Aspatria this summer with concerns over crime and safety.

Toploader photo
Toploader have agreed to headline this year’s Spyatstock festival

They fear the Spyatstock event, planned for Aspatria rugby club this July, is not well enough organised or that enough safety measures are in place.

The three-day event has been planned for July 18 to 21 after other festivals – such as Solfest and CockRock – were cancelled.

Chart toppers Toploader have already been signed up to headline the event, which follows a similar one last year on a much smaller scale. Aspatria company Sealy has agreed to sponsor it.

One of the organisers, Colin Rumney, of Allonby, said it was an exciting time to put Aspatria on the map.

He said they were “saddened” that both Solfest and CockRock had decided not to go ahead.

“As a group of people who love live music we decided to see if there was anything we could do,” he said.

“We worked really hard on it and we feel it is a real coup for a festival in its first year to get a big name that will be popular with a large age range.

“It’s also helped that Sealy has got on board.”

Sgt Gillian Atkinson, of Cumbria police, however, said they were not satisfied that enough security measures were in place.

She also raised concerns that no numbers for stewards had been given, there was no ‘lost child’ procedure, no drug or exclusion policies and no note of who held overall responsibility “in the event of a major incident”.

“We remain concerned for the safety and well-being of event goers and that the event may be a drain on police resources,” she said. “Event organisers admit they “were new to this” and some of the police concerns have still not been addressed.”

She said they were still working with the organisers but warned that the festival was close to nearby homes and was “highly likely to attract large numbers of young people, due to the lack of festivals in Cumbria this year”.

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