Lytham Voice response

Application to increase festival capacity to 25,000 each day for all future events

Lytham Voice response:

  1. We are pleased that Live Nation have shown respect to Fylde Borough Council, the residents and businesses of Lytham by providing, in line with the direction from FBC, adequate notification of their intentions to increase the daily capacity for all future events
  2. On the question of size, the FBC Licencing Committee Festival Decision Notice (dated April 2023) included the statement “increasing the capacity of the event by 25% to 24,999 would cause significant risk of the impacts on the community which we have mentioned earlier being elevated to an unacceptable level”.We would find it extraordinary if the concerns and challenges identified in that notice which culminated in the Licensing Committee concluding only 6 months ago that an increase to 25k “would be a step too far” have changed that such an increase could now be sanctionedIndeed the only obvious “improvement” is the proposed introduction of a park & ride facility, which would work well for arrivals, but not so well when up to 5,000 additional people all want transport to their car at the same time. That’s around 60 bus loads!
  1. There are assumptions made in the April 2023 Licencing Notice which we struggle with: eg “the festival has been and continues to be a huge positive for Lytham”. Where is the evidence for this? It is almost as if the organiser’s narrative along these lines has become embedded in how the authorities approach this, such that everyone believes it must be true….emperor’s new clothes………!
  2. Lytham Voice acknowledges and welcomes the different views and perspectives. Whilst, on the face of it, hosting a series of concerts in Lytham may be regarded as positive, we should equally be honest and recognise that the festival has not delivered tangible benefits to either the town’s residents or FBC that should be expected. A significantly greater benefit to Lytham would at least allay the concerns of those who may regard it as all pain with little or no gain
  1. The fact is, the festival established as an annual event in the heart of the town has outgrown the venue and Lytham’s infrastructure to the point where the “significant impact” should be recognised for what it is, and we must now call time on the event getting any bigger. If, commercially, it is not hitting the targets and profits Live Nation require then this should be recognised and more suitable alternatives considered. What they do is up to them……….
  2. The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) has an emphasis on the use of music, arts and crafts (ie a true festival rather than a series of concerts) serving the community and supporting local charities and appeals. Not surprisingly, neither LiveNation or Cuffe and Taylor are paid up members of AFO. Looking at those who are, however, we can’t help thinking that the binary choice of Festival or no Festival is misleading: there is a third way: ie a true festival which “goes with the grain” of the town, celebrating what it stands for and what it aspires to be particularly around community, the next generation, accessibility, the arts, opportunities etc …………a third way which isn’t about making money for a global enterprise, but very much looking to represent the kind of town/community we would wish to live in
  3. We realise the expiry of the LiveNation contract (2028) to stage the festival in Lytham may seem years away. However, we reckon now is the time to stand back and fully debate what residents truly would like to see and help by outlining possible alternatives to just more of the same