Human Zoo arts/DJ event cancelled

A controversial three-day arts festival which would have seen thousands flock to a Suffolk airfield has been cancelled at the 11th hour.

A controversial three-day arts festival which would have seen thousands flock to a Suffolk airfield has been cancelled at the 11th hour.

Organisers of the Human Zoo Arts Festival said they were given no option but to cancel the event at Rougham Airfield after St Edmundsbury Borough Council decided to serve them with a noise abatement notice outlining possible legal action and fines of thousands of pounds if they broke strict conditions.

But council chiefs explained the measure would only serve as an advisory precaution and that they had received assurances from festival bosses that noise conditions would be met.

Now the festival, which has been beset with problems since the plans were announced, has been officially cancelled with organisers beginning the task of refunding thousands of tickets.


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The festival, due to start today, originally provoked a wave of concerns from residents and community leaders while plans to remain open until 2.30am were dropped because organisers had not complied with advertising regulations.

Festival organiser Ian Leppard was unavailable for comment but had earlier said the festival's success, and that of similar events, was integral to the long-term future of the airfield.

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A statement on the event's website said: “With this (noise abatement order) in place, we are advised that we could face unlimited fines for a single noise complaint during the festival. And further to that, any resulting action could jeopardise the licences granted to our friend and supporter, Rougham Field land-owner John Agnew. It is therefore with great regret - and out of equally great respect for Mr Agnew - that we announce the cancellation of Human Zoo 2007.”

A council spokesman said the authority had worked closely with organisers to ensure noise would remain at a reasonable level.

“St Edmundsbury welcomes events such as these as they add to the range of cultural activities on offer within the borough but they do need to be licensed properly and held in an appropriate location that takes account of the effect on people living nearby,” he said.

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