Talk of the town music: Soul Town Festival, Beckenham at Croydon Road Recreational Ground

A festival which brings some of soul and Motown’s biggest stars to South London has been given the go-ahead for later this year, despite noise level concerns at the 2019 event, writes Lachlan Leeming.

The application for Soul Town Festival to again be hosted at Croydon Road Recreation Ground was granted permission when it fronted a December meeting of Bromley Council’s licensing sub-committee.

While committee members heard concerns about the music festival from
at least one councillor, the majority voted in favour of the application, stating that a council-approved event management plan would safeguard public safety and address any concerns in relation to crime and disorder.

Ward councillor Christine Harris had earlier spoken in opposition to the plans, saying she had received a number of calls throughout the day of the 2019 event about noise levels.

She added that she felt local residents had not been given clear enough information as to a telephone number to call to register a complaint.

However, the applicant’s case was boosted when the council’s Public Health Nuisance Team and the Health and Safety Inspector withdrew their objections to the festival, citing a revised event plan which addressed their concerns over noise levels and security.

In making their case, the applicants behind the festival said there had been no reports of drug use at the event in 2019.

In addition, a zero tolerance approach would nevertheless be adopted and security would conduct sweeps throughout the event.

A new sound team would be employed in 2020, while the organisers had also agreed to flip the site plan to reduce noise disruption.

Following the decision, organisers of the festival said they were “overjoyed”.

“The team at Soul Town Festival limited are overjoyed with the result.

“We look forward to coming back to Beckenham on Saturday 5 September 2020.

“We will now be working tirelessly to make sure the event is successful, safe, fun and the residents are caused little disruption,” festival organisers said in a statement.

It has subsequently been announced that the festival’s headline act will be Grammy winning American R&B and soul music group Shalamar.

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