Latitude bosses eye massive music festival on Great Yarmouth beach
- Credit: James Bass
The people behind Reading and Leeds Festival and Latitude are eyeing a huge festival on Great Yarmouth beach this summer.
Concert promoters Live Nation are seeking a licence for a two day music event on the sands between Britannia Pier and the Marina Centre.
A main arena would cater for almost 30,000 gig-goers, with a main stage at the Marina Centre end of the site and a second stage by Anchor Plaza.
It would echo the set-up last seen at T4's Pop Beach in 2004, when Girls Aloud, McFly and Goldfrapp were among the acts to perform at the resort.
Rick Latham, of Live Nation, said it is too early to release much more information about the festival, but that it is hoped to be held on Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30.
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Michael Jeal, Great Yarmouth Borough Council cabinet member for tourism, said: 'Assuming we are completely reassured that all the relevant safeguards are in place, I believe this event would present a huge opportunity for local businesses and profiles our borough on a national stage.
'In addition to the many residents that I'm sure will be keen to be there, we would also see a large number of visitors coming to the area over the course of both days and their spending will bring a further summertime boost to our local economy.'
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Great Yarmouth Borough Council has received a premises licence application, and a decision will be taken by licensing councillors after the consultation period closes on Thursday, March 28.
The application is to cater for a crowd of up to 29,999 people, show live music, recorded music, film and dance performances until 11pm and serve alcohol from midday until 11pm.
Trevor Wainwright, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: 'Live Nation has been talking to Great Yarmouth Borough Council for several months about the prospects of staging a weekend concert on central beach this June.
'Last week they submitted their application for a premises licence.
'In addition they would require a venue agreement before they are allowed to stage the event in Great Yarmouth.
'The venue agreement will not be signed off by the borough council unless we are satisfied that various provisos are met, including appropriate health and safety measures and safeguards to ensure that there is minimum disruption to local residents and businesses.'
In the application, Live Nation describes itself as 'very experienced at organising and delivering large scale events' with a proven track record in this field.
An outside crowd management company would be contracted and would work closely with the council and police to manage 'the potential for crime and disorder'.
There would be searches at entry gates, foot patrols, ejections if necessary and thorough plans for fire safety management, noise management and an adverse weather plan among other provisions, according to the application.
While tourism chiefs have signalled that the event would be a spectacle for residents and could boost Yarmouth's economy and profile by bringing thousands of visitors to the resort, an anonymous author has been circulating newsletters imploring people to oppose the festival.
The newsletters - which have been dropped through the letter boxes of town centre homes - are riddled with words in block capitals.
Its nameless author claims: 'The beach will be built into a fortress which will be unsightly.'
The text also speculates that there will be problems with drunkenness, noise pollution, excessive traffic, litter, that gig-goers will not spend money locally and that previous beach events have been a 'disaster'.
Do you think a summer festival on Great Yarmouth beach is something to be welcomed or to be opposed?
Write to Great Yarmouth Mercury, 169 King Street, Yarmouth, NR30 2PA or email firstname.lastname@example.org