Music festival gets green light despite complaints

Friday May 26th 2023


Cockenzie House and Gardens pic Wikimedia credit Tom Parnell

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A music festival which generated complaints about noise, drug use and foul language has been given the green light to go ahead this summer after reducing its hours.

EH32 Live is a free public event which takes place in the grounds of Cockenzie House, in East Lothian, every weekend over the summer.

A meeting of East Lothian Licensing Board, however, heard last year’s event had brought complaints from nearby residents who reported excessive noise, cannabis use and swearing.

One neighbour, who is a music teacher, recorded one band’s expletives which accompanied their version of Beatles classic ‘Hey Jude’ at the end of one performance and said the festival had ruined his ‘peace and tranquility’.

The board’s licensing standards officer Karen Harling said, in a report to members, that the band in question had been taken off the bill.

She said: “The band that used the offensive language were removed from the event and all subsequent performances were cancelled.”

And she said of other complaints: “Guidance was given for them to employ stewards for the event and for them to be vigilant in relation to drug taking and licensing offences and to monitor the noise levels from the event.”

Organiser Craig Hodgson acknowledged the issues and said stewards had been brought in to oversee this year’s festival which runs each weekend between June and September.

He said: “We do understand there were a few complaints last year about the noise and we have purchased a noise barrier system which can go around the tent the acts perform in that will reduce the noise.”

Board members asked for a condition of the licence to restrict the event to weekends and reduce its hours.

Mr Hodgson accepted restrictions by the board which would see them stop serving alcohol at 7.30pm and bring musical performance to an end by 8pm instead of 8.30pm as previously requested.

The board unanimously approved the licences for this summer’s weekend events to continue.

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