Controversial non-stop music festival in village near Hemel to go ahead despite concerns

Photo credit: The Giving Tree
Photo credit: The Giving Tree

A three-day festival – featuring up to 37 hours of non-stop music and drinking in a leafy village – has been given the green light despite concerns about crime, disorder, noise and hallucinogenic tobacco.

The Giving Tree festival will be held on land belonging to Ledgemore Farm, in Great Gaddesden, after being granted permssion last Wednesday (July 31) by Dacorum Council.

The festival will be held on land belonging to Ledgemore Farm

The festival will be held on land belonging to Ledgemore Farm

This came despite objections from the police and environmental health officers.

Herts Police said they were concerned they had not been able to carry out checks on the acts.

They also pointed to a ‘medicine woman’ who will demonstrate ‘sacred tobacco’ – or Rapeh – at the festival, which the submission says can be hallucinogenic.

Environmental health officer Neil Polden pointed to concerns about nuisance and public safety.

He said the loud music over consecutive nights would be in “stark contrast to the prevailing sound environment of the rural area and would disturb residents”.

The fesitval is set to take place between August 31 and September 2.

It is being promoted as an “eco-friendly fusion of technology and nature” – with workshops, yoga lessons and talks from prominent green activists and writers, as well as live and recorded music.

Permission was given for the festival to operate for a non-stop period of up to 37 hours – from Saturday lunchtime to the early hours of Monday morning.

However, organisers have since said the bar is expected to close at 11pm on Sunday, instead of the scheduled 1am – with music allowed until 4am.

In response, event organiser Jonathan Soden said he was 100 per cent confident there would be no knife crime or gang violence.

“It’s not that type of bands, not that type of music,” he said.

Organisers also told the committee that speakers would be arranged around the two stage sites to minimise noise disturbance to residents.