HD Festival license could be revoked

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

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

The future of the HD music festival could be in doubt as plans to revoke its license are due to be discussed tomorrow.

Redbridge Police will meet with the council’s licensing sub committee on December 19 at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford High Road to review the License for the festival’s venue.

The High Definition electronic music festival has been held for the last few years on land at Forest Farm, Forest Road, Hainault, but chaotic scenes in June and complaints from residents mean the future of the festival is now in doubt.

Police are hoping to revoke the festival’s license citing security problems, violence, drugs and anti-social behaviour.

Redbridge Police Licensing Sergeant Dougie Fyfe, said: “We are supporting the local residents and reviewing the License for the HD Festival due to the crime and disorder and public nuisance caused to local residents and businesses in the area.”

The last event, held on June 29, saw more than 900 people gain entry using fake tickets, while more people scaled fences, meaning many people with legitimate tickets were denied entry once the venue, which had a capacity of 9000, became full.

Police reported ‘huge amounts of drug paraphernalia’ left behind, as well as fights, assaults and thefts and said the festival was ‘attracting criminal gangs’ and taking up a ‘huge amount of police resources’, despite being a private event.

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The next HD Festival is planned for July 5 in 2014 and organisers have promised to address the problems faced by festival goers in June.

In a statement on the group’s Facebook page following the event, organisers apologised for the confusion over tickets and said 2014’s festival would see tickets sold through one on-line retailer only to prevent forgery and a 20ft perimeter fence would be installed to stop people climbing over.

Danny May, Managing Director of High Definition, said: “We recognise there were some issues with the festival last year but on the whole feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We have been quite open in our dialogue with the police, the council and our customers about how we will address these issues in 2014.”