Decision over fate of HD Festival to be made on Monday

Festival goers at the High Definition Festival, Forest Farm, Hainault

Festival goers at the High Definition Festival, Forest Farm, Hainault - Credit: Tom Horton

A decision on whether Hainault’s High Definition (HD) Festival will get to keep its license will be made on Monday.

A review hearing into the festival’s license took place on Thursday at Redbridge Town Hall in the High Road, yet after nine hours a decision had still not been made.

Council members, police and festival representatives gave and heard all the evidence and will meet again on Monday morning to hear the Licensing Committee’s decision over whether another event can go ahead.

The HD electronic music festival has been held for the last few years on land at Forest Farm, Forest Road, Hainault, and last year attracted 15,000 on the Saturday.

Redbridge Police are supporting local residents in trying to get the festival’s license revoked after June’s HD Festival was marred by violence, drugs and ‘undesirable’ elements scaling the fence and using forged tickets to gain entry.

Local resident Mr Messias called for the review after being driven from his home by the noise, which he called indescribable and came home to find cars parked across his drive.

Licensing enforcement officer Ed Chaplin criticised the management of the event, saying licensing conditions were not adhered to, such as scanning tickets , ‘which was abandoned early on’ and led to 900 people gaining entry with forged tickets.

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Once the venue was full, organisers turned away people arriving with real tickets, which led to a number of people ‘storming the gates’. He also called the amount of litter ‘over whelming’ and signage for the parking ‘failing miserably’ which led to traffic chaos around the site.

However, managers of the festival have promised to address these issues by bringing in more stewards, installing extra fences to stop people climbing over, more stringent bag checks and online tickets being sold through one outlet only to prevent fakes.