UK: Zim music festival opposed by police cleared – if organisers ‘meet 62 conditions’

UK: Zim music festival opposed by police cleared – if organisers ‘meet 62 conditions’

By & Staff Reporter

THE annual Africa Music festival that suffered “incidents of crime and disorder” and public safety risks at its inaugural event in Leicester last year is one step closer to making Abbey Park its new permanent home.

Leicester City Council has confirmed, following a meeting of the licensing sub-committee, event organisers Y2K Entertainment Music and Arts’ application for a new premises licence has been approved subject to “a significant number of conditions”.

Zimbabwean promoters Y2K Entertainment decided to launch the continental festival last year, building on the success of their SAMA festival which is held in April also in Leicester.

DRC’s Koffi Olomidé is the star attraction the festival this year

Due in part to what Leicestershire Police called “serious shortfalls” in the running of the first festival held in Nelson Mandela Park last summer, and concerns from the council’s own noise team, event organisers will have to meet a total of 62 conditions for the Africa Music Festival UK to go ahead at Abbey Park.

The full list of conditions include a requirement for more detailed safety and noise control plans to be submitted and signed off by the authority.

The council said event organisers would now need to meet and work with a safety advisory group to ensure “event management plans are robust and all necessary documentation is in place.”

Only once the safety advisory group is satisfied that the event can go ahead safely will permission be given for the use of Abbey Park, they added.

At the time of application, Y2K said the measures they would put in place included working with the police, providing security and stewards and carrying out drug searches.

The organisers also said they would make sure they had “enough barriers for crowd control” in the park, an ambulance and a first aid station and “will implement policies to [keep] safe children and vulnerable adults”. They did not include details regarding the implementation of these measures at the time.

A spokesperson for organisers Y2K Entertainment Music and Arts said: “We are now working closely with Leicester police, Leicester noise, licensing reinforcement and events teams to make sure we are compliant with all licensing terms and conditions.

“Our objective is to grow this unique festival while being inclusive to local communities and making sure that the festival is safe, family friendly and enjoyable.

“This year we have artists from more African nations such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria etc. This is all about promoting African music and cultures and we are hopeful that prominent media such as BBC will support us in order to have wide coverage for this truly unique festival.”