Monday, August 11, 2003

BUILDING FENCES, BUT NOT BRIDGES: Melvin Benn has done nothing to make the locals at the new venue for the Leeds Festival any happier, suggesting they're a bunch of, erm, wellington-boot wearers. (Funny that, what with it being in the country and all). He seems to think the reason they don't have a problem with the local Game Fair but do with the music festival is because it's young people who go to it. Maybe that is the case. Or maybe it's because the last two years' Game Fairs haven't ended up in mini-riots and didn't cause a quarter of a million pounds worth of damage. Benn behaves as if he's representing a Festival with a clean track record rather than a very dodgy past and doesn't seem to realise that locals have every right to be concerned - we're sure the massive fences and doubling of security staff will stop any repeat of last year's trouble, but it's not in our front garden so we can afford to be relaxed. Looking at the website's offers to sell crates of cheap beer to festival goers by mail-order, we'd be slightly worried at the encouragement to drunkeness in our neighbourhood, too.

We were also interested to read that a large number of tickets had been given to the local parish council as an - ahem - sweetener, which they're planning to sell on at twenty quid a throw. Erm... except, of course, the terms and conditions state that "Tickets are only valid when purchased from official agents of the Mean Fiddler. Tickets bought from other sources will be refused admission". Does this mean the Council have got permission to act as agents, then?

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