Wild Life residents’ meeting proves festival is ‘well run’

Wild Life festival 2016
Wild Life festival 2016

A meeting held by the organisers of the Wild Life festival to address residents’ concerns or questions was attended by just two members of the public.

But the organisers’ said this was ‘proof’ that the festival was managed smoothly and few residents have worries about this year’s event.

“I hope that’s a sign of a well-run festival,” said Steve Walton, organiser of the Shoreham Airport-based festival, which will be held in June.

The meeting, held at the Shoreham Centre on Thursday, gave residents the chance to meet organisers, traffic managers and sound consultants.

Mr Walton acknowledged that noise had been an issue raised by residents in the past – but said sound levels had never exceeded the limit permitted by the event licence.

Matt Mcilroy, from Vanguardia acoustic consultancy, said this year’s event would see a ‘downsizing’ of the arenas, with two smaller stages instead of one big one, which would reduce sound.

Seven sound monitoring locations around the site would be used to record sound levels, with adjustments made if necessary, he added.

Tom Sturmey, a traffic management contractor, said those driving to the festival could use a car park on the runway or at Adur Recreation Ground, which will be linked to the festival by a custom-built walkway.

The team hoped to ensure as little disturbance on the roads as possible.

“We want to keep traffic moving,” he said.

But traffic was a concern for Ivy, a resident of the 12-pitch traveller site Withy Patch, in Old Shoreham Road, Lancing.

She feared access could be blocked – which could prevent emergency services from entering the site.

She also complained that in previous years, festival goers had been smoking marijuana, leaving rubbish and shouting racial abuse by the traveller site.

“We have kids, elderly people – there’s no respect,” she said, adding that the festival caused ‘absolute disruption’ for Withy Patch residents.

Kelli Graham, the festival’s assistant event manager, said organisers planned to visit the site to meet residents.

“In addition we’ll be revisiting our security and stewarding plan to ensure that we are adequately protecting the residents of Withy Patch,” she said.

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