Music festival cancelled days before event

Gareth Gates
Gareth Gates was due to perform at the festival [PA Media]

Organisers of a music festival in Bradford have cancelled the free event just days before it was due to take place citing "unrealistic demands" being placed on them.

The people behind the Challenge Festival, which was due to take place on 25 and 26 May in Myrtle Park, Bingley, said it would now not go ahead.

In a Facebook update they said "safety concerns", including fencing off a woodland area in case of fire, had prompted the event's cancellation.

Bradford Council's safety advice group (SAG), which had been liaising with organisers, said: "Public safety must be a priority at any event."

'Totally gutted'

Bradford-born singer Gareth Gates was one of the artists booked to perform at the festival.

In their post on social media, organisers wrote: "Another great event cancelled because of unrealistic demands such as fencing a woodland area in case of fire, amongst many others.

"We will put more details up later, totally gutted, 1000s of hours and thousands of pounds wasted [sic]."

Bingley Music Town, which runs the bandstand area which showcases local acts, said that they were "trying to move our bit of the festival elsewhere".

It was later confirmed that Bradford and Bingley Rugby Club had offered to host an indoor "mini festival" on the weekend instead.

'On the floor'

Mark Wells, who helps promote the band Havoc City, who were booked for the bandstand, said: "It's really disappointing.

"This is another event in Bradford cancelled at the last minute.

"The reputation for Bradford is absolutely on the floor."

The decision follows Bingley Music Festival being cancelled due to rising costs and the ongoing uncertainty regarding the Bradford Live venue.

West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Bradford Council's SAG said: “The organiser has taken the decision to cancel this event.”

A spokesperson for the SAG said it had been working with organisers to "ensure the event could be held safely".

"Assurances were asked of the organiser following the latest draft of plans to ensure contingencies were in place, and it was our understanding that these were being addressed.

“SAG’s objective is not to stop events, but to provide professional advice to event organisers to ensure that events are run in a safe manner.

"Public safety must be a priority at any event and different types of events require different levels of safety plans."

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