Obstacles claim as big festival cancelled

The Big Kahuna Festival at Horsham has been cancelled amid claims by organisers that “insurmountable obstacles” had  been put in their way.

But a council says the organisers failed to satisfy safety conditions.

Festival bosses say they have have contacted all those who have purchased tickets, and also announced the news via their website and social media.
The new, three-day family-friendly music festival was due to take place on August Bank Holiday weekend at Holmbush Forest in Horsham, Sussex. The event was granted a licence in April.

The organisers said in a statement: “ “It is with great regret and disappointment that we have to deliver the news that for reasons beyond our control The Big Kahuna Festival 2016 will no longer be going ahead.
“Following the granting of our licence in April and after extensive meetings with the council, it has become apparent that a small but vocal opposition to the event has meant that insurmountable hurdles have been put in place.
“As a result the continued promoting of the event would be irresponsible to our suppliers and ticket holders. Those who have purchased tickets have been sent an e-mail regarding refunds.
“Obviously we are bitterly disappointed to be bringing you this news, after months of hard work to bring what we believe would have been an outstanding event to the area.  I am very proud of the team and what they achieved and would like to thank everyone who has supported this event.”
For further information please see: www.bigkahunafestival.co.uk <http://www.bigkahunafestival.co.uk>
Ticketholders should direct any questions to: info@bigkahunafestival.co.uk <mailto:info@bigkahunafestival.co.uk>

Horsham District Council said: “A meeting of the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) including Sussex Police, Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Sussex Area Ambulance Service and officers from Horsham District Council’s Emergency Planning and Environmental Health and Licensing teams met with organisers of The Big Kahuna Festival, Fire and Ice Productions Ltd on 5 July regarding safety measures.

“It was explained to the festival organisers that the Safety Advisory Group were not in a position to sign off the required Event Management Plan  (EMP) in time for the proposed event dates (27,28.29 August) to go ahead.

“Numerous health and safety concerns which were raised by the SAG over several months had not been addressed by the event organisers and, as these were conditions required to successfully complete the premises licence application process, it was agreed that the event, planned for the August Bank Holiday weekend, could not go ahead at this time.

“The event organisers have been given ongoing support from members of the SAG for several months since the beginning of 2016 in order to help them comply with the conditions of their premises licence application. As the event date drew closer, it became clear that there were too many outstanding actions to be delivered upon to satisfy the regulations to ensure the safety of customers, staff and neighbouring residents of the event.

“The council’s Environmental Health and Licensing team will keep the premises licence application open and look forward to supporting the event in the future when the various safety conditions have been met.”

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