Update from Big Green Gathering festival organisers, 27th July: Big Green Gathering Shut Down
‘It’s political’ Chief Superintendent tells BGG Director
Chief Superintendent Paul Richards admitted to a Big Green Gathering Director that the decision to shut down the Big Green Gathering was political and confirmed to the Chair of the Big Green Gathering that orders had come from the highest level.
During a meeting today between the police and directors of the Big Green Gathering, the superintendent said the decision to shut down the BGG was taken over a week ago, confirming the statement from the BGG lawyer that the injunction was a red herring.’
Directors from the BGG are horrified at this partisan interpretation of licencing law. Big Green Gathering Chair Brig Oubridge said, ‘At the multi-agency meeting on Thursday 23rd July, we were still negotiating with the police and the council under the genuine belief that things were progressing and we were continuing to spend money on infrastructure, wages and security. If they knew they were going to cancel the event, we can only conclude that this drive to increase expenditure appears to be a deliberate attempt to bankrupt the Big Green Gathering.
The injunction served on the Big Green Gathering was primarily addressing the fact that the Big Green Gathering did not obtain the necessary road closure despite the fact that the Highways Agency had previously indicated that this would be done.
The Big Green Gathering has been running an event since 1994 and never before has public safety been an issue. The BGG has an exemplary record on health and safety and crime levels have always been low for the number of people on site.
Despite the concerns over the behaviour of the Council and the Police, event organisers will work with them to ensure the safety of those at the premises and ensure that they leave the land in an orderly fashion. Brig concluded, ‘We are very aware of our responsibilities to those already on the site and very sad for all those who were coming to enjoy one of the most peaceful festivals in the UK.’
The Big Green Gathering is billed as the world’s premier and award winning green festival. Located in the Mendip Hills in Somerset, the event is a celebration of the natural world and our place within it.
The festival provides entertainment, education, participation and fun in different areas such as, music & performance, food & farming, theatre, green crafts, permaculture, green radio, alternative media, renewable energy, sustainable homes, campaigns, green enterprise, healing, green access & mobility area, as well as stalls.
The event grew out of the original Green Gatherings of the 1980’s and the Green Fields of Glastonbury Music Festival. It has developed organically in response to a desire from people within the green movement, for a festival that was focused on Green issues. Between 15,000 and 20,000 people are expected this year.
Tickets can bought through the online shop on the festival’s official website. Under 9s get in for free.
Wicker sculptures at the Big Green Gathering
Photo © Big Green Gathering