Leeds Festival: Decision is due on granting licence

A decision on whether to grant a licence for the Leeds Festival to go ahead this year is set to be made by Leeds City Council decision-makers next week.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 4:45 am
A previous Leeds Festival

As is customary, the council meets in August to go over final preparations for the event, which takes place over the bank holiday weekend, with organiser Festival Republic.

However, the festival has had to show changes to its event management plan following recommendations from a coroner after the death of 17-year-old Anya Buckley in Bramham Park in August 2019.

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The event will also be the first Leeds Festival to take place since the outbreak of Covid 19, following its cancellation in 2020.

A report, set to go before members of Leeds City Council’s licensing committee, said: “Specific details in the event management plan (EMP) are yet to be finalised and the final version is not normally available until nearing the start of the event.

"Historically it is normal practice for licensing committee to delegate approval of the final EMP to the chief officer.

“Chief officer approval will be reserved until such time all agencies agree the final EMP.”

Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn is set to make a presentation to the panel, while Dan Burn, who has co-ordinated the education campaign introduced for 2021, is also set to attend.

An inquest took place in January into the death of Anya Buckley at the 2019 Festival, Leeds City Council was served with a Regulation 28 Report to prevent future deaths by the senior coroner for West Yorkshire.

Leeds Festival’s website has an in-depth drugs advice page which warns festival-goers about the dangers of drugs, and that mixing drugs is behind many deaths.

It also states: “You don’t know the strength of what you might be taking. You don’t know how your body will react. You can’t tell what you are taking by looking at it. You can’t tell how you will react by the reaction others have had.

“You can always up your dose but you can’t reduce it. Wait at least two hours before taking any more.

“If your powder or pills don’t take effect as quickly as you would expect, don’t assume they are poor quality – they may contain another substance that takes longer to take effect.

"If you then take more, as a result, you are at increased risk of overdose when the combined doses do kick in."

It claims action will be taken to arrest any dealers, and that covert staff will be working on-site.

Members of Leeds City Council’s Licensing Committee will meet to discuss the plans on Tuesday, August 10.

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