Glade Festival has announced yet another change of venue – this time to a stately home in Norfolk after initially switching from a Warwickshire farm and then a Bedfordshire mansion.
Festival organiser Anselm Guise – better known to festivalgoers as “Ans” – confirmed that the trustees of the Mansion House, Biggleswade, had vetoed the festival despite the venue’s management company having signed contracts and taken deposits.
However, he also revealed that the festival had already secured a new venue – Houghton Hall – that already has a 24-hour, 365-day licence in place – and is miles away from the nearest settlement. The deal has been struck directly with the venue’s owner, Lord Cholmondeley, to avoid a repeat of the drama at Biggleswade.
Riders on the rollercoaster that is the Glade Festival have become used to dramatic twists and turns as events unfold.
In 2007, the festival and its supporters fought off a determined campaign by a small but tightly organised group of residents objecting to that year’s licensing application, only to have the festival deluged by one of southern England’s worst floods in living memory.
In 2008, the festival secured a five-year licence at its original Wasing Estate home but decided to leave that venue after a new set of sound restrictions made the location untenable.
Glade moved in 2009 to the Matterley Bowl in Hampshire, the former home of events such as Homelands, with dance legends Underworld headlining. Despite initial scepticism by many Glade veterans, the event was hailed as a success.
But a 2010 event at Matterley Bowl was cancelled in controversial circumstances after the organisers were presented with a policing bill that they felt made the festival unviable.
However, Ans is confident that the new Norfolk setting is ideal: â€œThe new site, whilst being a bit further away from London, is by far superior.Â It is set in beautiful, privately owned 5,000-acre estate, which is set in beautiful parkland laid out in the 1720s.Â It is also on sand, meaning excellent drainage, so we wonâ€™t be having a repeat of the floods ofÂ 2007, regardless of the weather.â€