ORGANISERS of a dance festival are “devastated” as plans to host their first ever event in the area have been dashed. 

Another World Festival was set to take place at Pontins, in Brean Sands, in March but festival-goers were left shocked after it was announced the festival was being moved to a new venue due to licensing issues.

The festival was set to be the first of its kind in the county and organiser, Lee Bayako, said moving it was “one of the hardest decisions’ the team has ever made.”

“We have been organising events across the UK since the 90’s and we have never had to cancel an event,” Lee said.

“It was one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make.”

Lee claims Pontins approached him and his team on a number of occasions last year and asked them to host the festival. 

“We were approached by Pontins on a number of occasions and asked if we wanted to host a festival at Brean Sands and we saw an opportunity to bring the festival to Somerset,” Lee said. 

“We met with Pontins and had a look around their facilities and agreed to host the event.”

Lee claims that at a meeting with Pontins, police and licensing officials last year no mention was made about the need to apply for a new license for the event. 

“We attended a meeting with police, representatives from Pontins and licensing officials from Sedgemoor District Council and discussed what plans we had to make sure the festival was a safe event,” Lee said.

“At the meeting there was no mention from officials at Sedgemoor that there was any issue with us operating under a 24-hour license which Pontins held.”

But a spokesman for Sedgemoor District Council said organisers did not apply for the appropriate licenses for the event. 

A council spokesman said: “Our Environmental Health officers get several calls a year about the cleanliness of the facilities at the park and consequently visited the park to investigate. The rave is a licensable event. 

“Originally, the organisers did not apply for the appropriate licences which ensure that any event is properly managed. 

“Once the organisers had met with the police and others to discuss what is needed to ensure a safe event, they decided not to go ahead with the event.”

But Lee hit out at the council’s comments and claims they are ‘untrue’. 
“The comments from Sedgemoor District Council are completely untrue,” Lee said. 

“Pontins has a 24 hour license for events and we were not told to apply for any additional licenses. 

“We are professionals with years of experience organising these events, we had detailed plans ready to go so we could be sure the event was safely managed.”

Another World Festival will now take place at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire from August 3 to August 5. 

The Weekly News has contacted Pontins for comment.