Resident meeting shows Wild Life Festival has improved

Wild Life Festival. Picture: Eddie Mitchell
Wild Life Festival. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

Residents had the opportunity to have their say about Wild Life Festival at a meeting with organisers on Friday.

The festival took place at Shoreham Airport on June 11-12, with 35,000 party-goers attending on Saturday and 30,000 turning up on Sunday.

It’s a great example of promoters and the community working together

Jenny Towler, vice-chair of the Shoreham Society

As a condition of the licence, concert promotion company SJM which runs the two-day festival had to hold a public consultation before and after the event.

In stark contrast to last year’s debrief, which was attended by around 80 disgruntled residents, only a handful of people turned up to complain.

Jenny Towler, vice-chair of the Shoreham Society, said the festival ‘went well’ and thanked the team for their co-operation.

“You’ve worked very well with us; it’s a great example of promoters and the community working together,” she said.

According to event manager Steve Walton, the main issues at last year’s festival had been addressed.

“We’ve listened to last year’s complaints about noise and transport. We controlled the off-site bass levels fantastically well and getting people on and off the site.

“By 12.50am on Monday morning the site was completely clear, 50 minutes after the festival was closed. It was a great achievement.”

He said that recorded sound levels for the headline act this year was 71 decibels, compared to 73 decibels at the same point last year. This was still below the levels agreed in the licence.

Responding to concerns about an increase in littering in the town centre this year, Mr Walton pledged to pay Adur District Council for more staff to clean the area.

District councillor Emma Evans, who is executive member for environment and events, attributed this rise to a greater number of festival-goers ‘pre-drinking’ before entering the site.

She said: “I was at the festival and was very impressed with what I saw.

“Every single time I stood near a bar they were checking I.D.’s at the start of the queue and again at the bar, even though they were really busy.”

Mr Walton also rejected rumours that the festival would grow to 70,000 people a day, saying the site ‘could never handle that many people’.

Organisers also suggested that a drop in trade for shopkeepers over the weekend could be offset by selling festival-specific products, such as face glitter.

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