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Hainault’s High Definition Festival loses licence after Redbridge Council decision

Thursday, December 26, 2013
7:00 AM

Hainault’s High Definition Festival has been stripped of its licence after complaints of “hundreds of undesirables” jumping the fence at this year’s event.

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The decision was announced on Monday after nine hours of deliberation by the Redbridge licensing sub-committee the previous week at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road.

Both residents and Redbridge Police had pushed for the licence to be revoked.

In a letter to the borough council ahead of the committee meeting, Redbridge Police Licensing Unit wrote: “Should the event be allowed to take place next year there is a real risk that persons attending the event will put themselves in serious danger and may come to serious harm.”

The festival, headlined by Labrinth, Shy FX and Ms Dynamite, was also marred by ticketing issues after 900 people gained entry to the electronic music event in Forest Farm, Forest Road.

Organisers of the festival were forced after the event to issue an apology to customers after the “sizeable undesirable element” who forced entry into event meant those with legitimate tickets being turned away.

Resident Peter Messias, of Forest Farm Cottages, Forest Road, Ilford, also wrote to the licensing sub-committee, calling for a licence review “because of the unbearable noise and disruption of past events”.

Cllr Vanessa Cole, who sat on the licensing sub-committee, said: “We looked at all the evidence before (the meeting).

“Somebody at the hearing said it was only luck that things were not worse (at this year’s festival).

“We deliberated very carefully what number of people could go but I have to say we felt that unanimously the present management could not control the festival.”

Cllr Joyce Ryan fought strongly for the festival to be moved and said she was “delighted” about the council’s decision.

“I am delighted,” she said. “The trouble it caused last year was unbelievable – two [drug] overdoses, arrests and stabbings.

“It was far too big for that site. I am all for that festival, who wouldn’t be? But it is in the wrong place.”

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