UK: Leicester police seek to block Zim music festival over ‘crime and disorder’

UK: Leicester police seek to block Zim music festival over ‘crime and disorder’

By BBC News and Staff Reporter

LEICESTER: Local police have raised concerns about a proposal to stage a musical festival in a Leicester park.

Promoters Y2K Entertainment hosted the inaugural African Music Festival at Nelson Mandela Park last year.

Some of the top performers included Zimbabwean stars Winky D and Jah Prayzah as well as South Africa’s Makadzi.

The organisers want to hold this year’s event in Abbey Park at the end of August.

However Leicestershire Police has asked the city council to refuse a licence for the event.

The force said it was concerned about a repetition of crime and disorder experienced last year.

Y2K Entertainment said changing the venue of the event for 2024 would help address concerns raised which also included noise and public nuisance.

The company met police and council representatives on Tuesday and was told a decision on the future of the event would be made within five days.

‘Serious shortfalls’

Alex Marapara, of Y2K, told the BBC: “We are optimistic it will be a safe event and we have explained why to the police and the council.

“Moving it to Abbey Park will help us improve the overall safety of it.”

Marapara said between 7,000 and 8,000 people attended the last festival in Nelson Mandela Park which showcased dance and music groups and artists from Zimbabwe, the UK and America.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), Leicestershire Police said there were “serious shortfalls” with it.

In a report to the council, officers said: “The applicant hasn’t been in contact to discuss this application with the police despite holding a like event on Nelson Mandela Park in August 2023.

“A previous festival operated by Y2K at Nelson Mandela Park last year resulted in serious shortfalls being exposed, especially in relation to the number of security provisions. The event did experience incidents of crime and disorder, public nuisance and public safety.

Both the council and police said the proposals submitted by Y2K lack enough detail to convince them last year’s issues would not reoccur or that the event would be safely and appropriately run, the LDRS said.

Y2K told the LDRS it would work with police, providing security and stewards and carrying out drug searches.

The council’s noise team also raised concerns about the impact the festival could have on neighbours.