Music festival slammed by angry locals

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Otterspool Park. Pic © Rept0n1x

Otterspool Park. Pic © Rept0n1x / Wikimedia Commons

Plans to hold one of the UK’s biggest pop music festivals in Liverpool have sparked outrage amongst local residents.

Following the announcement that this year’s Fusion Festival will be held in Otterspool, members of the River Oaks Residents Association (RORA) have responded to the proposal with heavy criticism.

The popular music event has been organised in partnership with Capital FM and is set to be held on the banks of the River Mersey, at the Otterspool Park and Promenade, on September 3rd and 4th.

However, locals have raised concerns about the choice of location for the two-day festival and the impact of attracting as many as 25,000 music lovers may have on the surrounding community.

Terry Jones, a representative for RORA, told JMU Journalism: “It’s important I firstly mention that I don’t know anyone in the Residents Association who doesn’t want this festival. It’s fantastic for the local economy and the city’s reputation as a UNESCO City of Music.

“However, what we are concerned about is that the infrastructure of the park simply could not cope with the amount of people. It is logistically impossible for our area. One of our major concerns is that part of the festival would back onto a river, which is very dangerous hazard, as they have applied for an alcohol licence.”

The success of last year’s event, when Ed Sheeran and Tinie Tempah helped to attract more than 50,000 people to Birmingham’s Cofton Park, led to complaints regarding the damage to the land, fencing and footpaths.

Mr Jones added: “We have an award-winning park that has held much smaller festivals in the past, which unfortunately created a lot of anti-social behaviour and there was litter and rubbish left everywhere afterwards. We love festivals but we are aware of what it is like to deal with this situation.

“There are plenty of other places in the city that could host the festival. I only hope that we can present a measured, balanced and honest argument. Mayor Joe Anderson has said he wants to hear our concerns and work with us to think about how we can reconsider these plans, which is very good.”

The Otterspool area residents have until Wednesday to submit their objections to the proposal. There will then be a hearing with Liverpool City Council involving everyone who has objected to the festival being granted a food and drink licence.

JMU Journalism contacted Liverpool City Council for a response. A spokesperson for the council has said that it will not provide a comment until after the objections deadline, later this week.

About Stephanie Bocking, JMU Journalism