Up to 10,000 set to flock to Orsett as Thurrock Council give green light to Essex Fest

THURROCK Council has given permission for a two day music festival to take place at Orsett Showground in July.

EssexFest is expected to attract up to 10,000 visitors to the area over July 19th and 20th.

But this has not gone down well with Margaret Orman of the Whitmore Arms in Orsett, who made a spirited and forsenic objection to the application at a meeting of the Thurrock Council Licensing Committee on Thursday evening.

Mrs Orman told the committee of her experiences when Dance Crusade took place at the venue in 2010 and did not want a repeat of “that nightmare.”

EssexFest were represented by Brian Cleary of Sygma Safety & Events Ltd. Much of Mr Cleary’s testimony was well received by both the committee, Mrs Oram and Essex Police.

However, it was the main organiser, Mr Milford Parker that they seemed to be concerned with.

The Essex Police barrister asked Mr Parker if he had “Any experience running such an event.”

Mr Parker said: “I have been involved in a event at the If Bar in Ilford.”

This response drew a wry smile from the police barrister who said: “I was involved in a licensing application in relation to the If Bar after numerous reports of public disorder.”

The police again expressed their concern that Mr Parker would be “Gold Command” or in simpler terms, in overall command of the event.

Mrs Oram also quizzed the increasingly vague Mr Parker on which taxi companies he had been to visit. Mrs Orman said: “I have spoken to a number of taxi firms and many say they have no intention of working at this festival.”

Mr Parker told the committee that he had visited Lakeside taxis and Tilbury taxis but he could not remember who he had spoken to.

Mr Cleary detailed his experience in events such as Glastonbury and was flanked by other colleagues with experience of working at the O2.

He detailed that the last live act would finish at 9.30pm followed by DJs. He also detailed the transportation arrangements to and from Orsett.

The committee retired for half an hour and then informed all parties that they would grant a licence for the event but with a large number of conditions. These conditions would be detailed in due course.

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