Marlborough's new music festival to go ahead - but not how the organisers hoped
It will be called the Marlborough Rising Music Festival - a community event that will be non-profit making. It will be on Friday, 7 September and Saturday, 8 September and will be the first steps towards forming a new festival weekend for the town with a wider and more varied appeal than previously.
The first bands have been booked and a number of venues within the town will host live music and events.
But, as the agenda for Monday's meeting of Marlborough Town Council's Planning Committee hinted, the organisers’ plans to stage most of the Festival in The Parade have come up against prohibitive difficulties and prohibitive costs in complying with Wiltshire Council requirements.
The committee have withdrawn their application for road closures in The Parade, part of the High Street and New Road.
They had held a 'very constructive' meeting with Wiltshire Council officials. However the costs of the necessary security staff and barriers and other measures proved too much. The organisers were even asked whether they had 'anti-terrorist measures' in place.
The likely costs of closing The Parade from Thursday evening to Sunday morning would have included rental for the parking places - even though parking there is free of charges.
Wiltshire Council officers said that the festival organising committee's application for the necessary road closures was 'very sound'. However, faced with the costs and bureaucratic hurdles, Robin Pritchard, who leads the committee, said: "It goes against the grain. But we were not prepared to pursue road closures there - it's too political, too difficult and too costly for us."
Mr Pritchard told marlborough.news that he understands that with Wiltshire Council's financial constraints - their departments have to make profits each year. So before they began talking to residents and businesses in The Parade, they decided to scale back their plans for the inaugural Marlborough Rising Music Festival.
At the meeting of the Planning Committee (March 19) councillors expressed dismay that Wiltshire Council were charging for the use of free parking spaces. One councillor added: "It's a bit harder than dismay."
The organising committee for Marlborough Rising will be announcing details of the September festival in the very near future.