The Glade Festival organisers’ bid to apply for a Glastonbury-style five-year licence at the Wasing Estate in Berkshire has now been made public.

This move comes as no surprise to GladTalk, which has maintained for the past year that the organisers intended to make the Wasing Estate their permanent home, despite persistent rumours being circulated elsewhere that there had been a four-year deal at Wasing and that future Glade festivals would be held at a new venue.

The Newbury Weekly News quotes festival organiser Luke Piper as saying:

The Glade has established itself at the Wasing Estate and wishes to continue at this location. Putting in an application for a Glade festival each year is not efficient or effective business – for any of the authorities as well as the organisers…

When the Glade festival first started, licenses for temporary events like this were issued on a one year basis. With new government licensing regulation all events are considered on a premises licensing basis in the same way as pubs and clubs for instance and are therefore ongoing.

We have, in the interest of the estate and local area, decided to limit the application to five years. Clearly there are advantages all round for a five-year license over and above a one-year licensed event.

Mr Piper gives these reasons as:

  • a longer term view with regards the planning and organisation of a safe and successful event with adequate contingencies
  • a more secure tenure that enables more professional staff and contractors to be attracted to the event
  • a guarantee that the event remains at a manageable size for the proposed licensed period
  • the fact that capacity, size and number of venues at the event would be fixed.

But the move probably will not be without controversy among some Glade festivalgoers, who have argued that restrictions on the Glade’s licensing conditions in recent years had been excessive, especially with respect to decibel limits.

However, much of the criticism over sound levels at last year’s event centred on one particular tent, the Overkill Tent, which had experienced numerous technical difficulties as explained in GladTalk’s Sound levels at the Glade article. The organisers have already promised a bigger tent for the Overkill Tent, enabling it to be equipped with the Funktion 1 Ambisonic rigs that helped the Glade comply with last year’s restrictions at other stages while keeping most festivalgoers happy with levels.

Another potential fly in the ointment for the Glade organisers is that members of the Aldmermaston parish council, which has in past years been strongly supportive of the Glade Festival are believed to be opposed to a five-year licence but will instead support a yearly application.

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