Wrexham Council reveal reasons behind Rock the Park licence refusal
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
A local authority has revealed its reasons for refusing a licence for a Wrexham music festival to go ahead.
The organisers of Rock the Park announced in the early hours of this morning that the four-day event due to take place early next month had been postponed until next May.
It’s the second time the date for the festival has been pushed back after the Covid pandemic brought an end to last year’s plans.
Thousands of people were expected to attend this year’s event but organisers said “local bureaucracy” was to blame for the decision to put it on hold.
However, Wrexham Council said the application for a licence to hold the festival was denied after it was filed late.
Both council officials and North Wales Police also raised concerns about the safety of revellers due to the proximity of the event site off Borras Hall Lane to a nearby dual carriageway.
A spokesperson for the authority said: “The application for a four-day festival was submitted much later than it should have been for an event of this scale, and this has been acknowledged by the applicant.
“In making the decision, the committee took into account several issues.
“Although improvements were made to safety documentation following previous discussions with all parties, grave concerns still remained around traffic management arrangements, and the safety of people entering and leaving the site.
“To date the council has not received a single application for traffic management.
“The public safety risk posed to festival goers, some of whom may also have been drinking alcohol and emerging late at night onto a live dual carriageway, is clear.
“As a result, the committee has been unable to support the festival application.
“We hope the event organiser will take this on board should they submit any future applications for similar events.”
Rock the Park was set to take place over the weekend of August 5 to August 7 this year, but has been pushed back to May 18 to May 22, 2023.
Ticketholders have been told they can get a full refund if they wish to do so, while tickets will remain valid until next year’s festival.
A statement from the Rock the Park organisers said: “We are extremely disappointed to announce that we have no option other than to regretfully postpone this year’s event, scheduled for 5th to 7th August 2022, to new dates of May 18th to 22nd 2023.
“We have missed two years of festivals due to the pandemic and have been striving to bring all the elements together to stage this year’s festival.
“We were confident that we were on course for a fabulous weekend and are gutted, for everyone who had bought tickets, our artists and suppliers, that we have been thwarted, by local bureaucracy, at this late stage.
“We encourage anyone who has bought a ticket to hang on to it for the rescheduled show and your support will be rewarded.”
They added: “For any ticketholders who do not want to do that, we are offering a full refund.
“We ask for your patience while we put logistics in place to enable that.”
Wrexham Council’s trading standards team has also released information to inform ticketholders of their rights.
A spokesperson said: “Your legal rights are that if you bought your ticket from an official seller, you can get a refund if the organiser cancels, moves or reschedules the event.
“You can however, chose to keep your ticket on the promise of the rearranged event.
“If you have opted for a refund and the refund is not forthcoming, you can report the matter to Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for a Welsh-speaking advisor. You can also report the matter using an online form.”
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