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Cassiobury Park to be jazzed-up for music festival
A jazz festival expected to attract crowds of more than 3,000 people will be held in a Watford park.
Jazz in the Park was granted a licence this week to play live music and sell alcohol in Cassiobury Park in a six hour event on Sunday, June 22.
Residents of the Cassiobury estate raised objections about parking, noise pollution and alcohol consumption at the family-orientated festival, which is being held in Watford for the first time.
Resident Jacky Wilson said: "I live bordering the estate. A lot of people are very proud of the park, but it’s a leisure facility and I’m not sure why it’s right to turn it into somewhere for events like this.
"We’ve got the whole High Street which has undergone considerable redevelopment as an area for entertainment. Why is it right to transfer that into the park as well?
"The park is an area for children. You may say this event is for families but how do you marry up children with alcohol?
"And this is something that is going to be on for six hours, at peak times when children will be there."
However, the licensing sub-committee granted the time-limited licence to organisers Warren Brown of De: Luxe Events Limited at the meeting on Wednesday.
Chairman Keith Crout said: "The sub-committee recognises the concerns of residents on the Cassiobury Estate and they will be worked with to ensure events held in the park cause the least disturbance.
"What convinced the committee was the amount of evidence the applicant presented, which predicated they could run successful events."
Matt Clark, the licence holder providing food and beverages at the festival, and solicitor Colin McEwen, CEO of De:Luxe, represented the applicant at the meeting.
Mr McEwen assured the sub-committee the rugby club at the park would provide additional parking for festival goers and said event promoters would be talking to Watfordians face-to-face before the event and encouraging those attending to use public transport.
He also said having the event in the park meant they could properly control the amount of alcohol people were drinking and deal with anyone behaving in a disorderly fashion - something they could not do on The Parade.
Trained staff will be selling the alcohol, adhering to the Challenge 25 policy and knew when to stop serving people.
The festival will be held in a fenced off area near the splash pond in Cassiobury Park - 150 metres from the nearest residence.
A stage and four meter high speakers will be erected for live performances, and the sound technicians will monitor the noise levels around the park and residential areas repeatedly throughout the event.
The event has the capacity to host an audience of 3,100 people.
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