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News Archive > General > Boardmasters seeks to raise numbers

Boardmasters seeks to raise numbers

By Warren Wilkins 11th January 2017

Boardmasters seeks to raise numbers
Festival-goers at Boardmasters.

BOARDMASTERS proposes to increase its maximum capacity for the next five years to 49,999 people after the festival sold out last year.

Organiser Vision Nine has applied to stage the popular event at Trebelsue Farm and the adjacent MoD land from 2017 to 2021. An application is also in progress to increase the licensed capacity of the event.

Boardmasters received permission to increase the capacity to 39,999 for the 2016 festival, but the organisers are now looking to hike it further due to the popularity of extending the camping days, which has attracted an audience from further afield in the UK.

Vision Nine is forecasting only a small growth in ticket sales for the 2017 festival and
anticipates the increase in licensed capacity will be sufficient for several years of gradual growth.

Tom Sabin, on behalf of Boardmasters Limited, said: “Boardmasters Festival at Watergate Bay first introduced camping in 2010 with an initial capacity of 4,000 and a total arena capacity of 15,000. Since then the festival has grown gradually in scale and extended days of opening and in 2016 had camping available for customers from Wednesday arrivals to Monday departures.

“In 2016 the event sold out at capacity of 39,999. Extending camping days from
Wednesday to Monday has attracted an audience from further afield in the UK and also matches the schedule of the surf competition at Fistral Beach. A large proportion of festival customers are keen to watch the surf competition which is now part of the WSL World Tour.

“This planning application is designed for the next five years of the festival between 2017 and 2021 inclusive, and allows for growth up to a maximum capacity of 49,999 people. A premises licence application is also in progress to increase the licensed capacity of the event to this level. We are forecasting only a small growth in ticket sales in 2017 and anticipate that the increase in licensed capacity will be sufficient for several years of gradual growth.

“We recognise that noise disturbance from major events can be of concern to residents and after their very successful introduction in 2013 we have again employed dedicated acoustic experts, Vanguardia Consulting, who are the UK’s leading live event noise management specialists.

“Vanguardia has developed a detailed noise management plan with input from Cornwall Council Environmental Health officers.”

A number of neighbouring businesses have objected to the plans. Jeremy Varcoe, the chairman of the trustees of St Francis Home for Animals at Porth, said: “We have two main concerns. The main one is a worry that with expansion of the number of campers, some of these will be in fields nearer to Trevelgue Road. The dogs kenneled at St Francis, many of which are already stressed as strays or dogs given to us for rehoming, already suffer some disturbance from both the music and the additional traffic and pedestrian noise as festival-goers, often in a merry state, return late into the night. More campers in the vicinity can only increase this disturbance.

“The event has been stretched from three to five days as well as the growing attendance. The longer that dogs are at risk of extra disturbance and stress the more likely it is that they display this by loud and additional barking. This, in turn, is likely to disturb nearby residents and possibly some of the festival campers. Prolonged sleep disturbance and stress can cause long-term health and behaviour problems for dogs as with humans. Unfortunately there is little that we can do to prevent or mitigate this. Is it really necessary to expand attendance in the way applied for?”
Abby Paull added: “We are a quiet family-run campsite, in countryside near Newquay,
established over 40 years ago. We have invested heavily in the business over the last 15 years to improve our infrastructure and facilities, establishing a family-friendly business, which is a credit to the area.

“The rapid expansion of the Boardmasters Festival over the last two years, scheduled at key family holiday time, has caused a huge increase in noise and traffic complaints, and put enormous strain on our business, with the complaints resulting unfairly in negative reviews of our site, with cancellations, and loss of return visitors putting a financial strain on our
business. We have suffered increased costs such as night-time security. This is now putting the future of our business in jeopardy.

“The unregulated nature of the festival, with disregard for local businesses such as ours, must end. We need a change from last year, which was intolerable.

“Their application for five years should not be allowed. Newquay does not have the infrastructure to cope.
Boardmasters (Vision Nine) should have an insurance policy in place to enable local businesses to be compensated for their losses, and for their customers.”

Nicholas Malcolm, of the Sands Resort Hotel in Porth, said: “We are the nearest hotel to the south of the event and all event fields, car parks, mobile toilets and camping fields are visible from the hotel. Like other hotels in Porth our unique selling point is family holidays on the unspoilt north coast of Cornwall, but we now spend a month surrounded by a festival.

“As the festival has grown the length of time our coastline is spoilt increases. Now for this peak season month the coastal road which runs between the hotel and the sea, carries all the trucks, cranes, deliveries, fairground attractions and other festival paraphernalia, spoiling what used to be a peaceful coast.

“During the festival itself traffic in the area comes to a stop. Staff can’t get to work, deliveries are late and guests spend hours trying to leave and get back into the hotel.

“All event-goers who walk to the event have to pass the front of the hotel on their way in and after midnight, worse for wear, pass back between midnight and 3am along with the day visitor cars. Guests have to close windows to block out the noise and some ask for discounts because of the diminution of their holidays.

“After the event finishes we look out on several muddy fields covered in abandoned tents, rubbish and waste. Several days pass without this being cleared.”

By Warren Wilkins 11th January 2017

Steve 11th January 2017 17:43
It´s for a few days think of all the others business this helps in Newquay not just yourselfs the people who go to board master plus lots of locals are very well behaved it´s about time we had big events like this in cornwall so let´s think positive n not loose this like we have with run to the sun where other county´s benifit from it !!!!!!!!!!!
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