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The show will go on, say festival organisers
WOMAD is determined to allay fears about this year’s festival after news last week its licence had been called in for review by police.
In a statement on the website for the annual World Of Music, Arts and Drama festival, which is due to take place at Charlton Park between July 27 and 29, organisers vowed ‘no matter what’ WOMAD will go ahead this year.
The statement said: “Those of you who may have picked up from the media that the local police have raised an objection to our licence need have no fear.
“This is a negotiation that happens every year, only this year it has taken longer than usual to reach agreement and so the police have done what they feel they have to do and brought it into the public domain.
“Worry not, no matter what it takes, or how much it costs, WOMAD 2012 will go ahead as safe and secure as it has for the last 30 years and will continue to for the next 30.”
Last week, as reported in the Gazette & Herald, Wiltshire police challenged the legality of the licence granted for WOMAD after they and the organisers failed to reach an agreement over policing.
It means festival organisers could have to wait until just a week before the festival is scheduled to begin to learn whether their licence has been approved.
This allows for the standard 28-day consultation period before a hearing is held by Wiltshire Council, the licensing authority.
News of the review sparked comment from across the county over fears the cancellation of the event would cost the local economy dear.
Paul Baker, chairman of the Malmesbury branch of the Chamber of Commerce, said: “The loss to the town’s traders would be huge, with many businesses usually benefiting from an upsurge in takings during the festival.
“Everything should be done to ensure that WOMAD happens.
“Losing Badminton was bad, but to lose WOMAD would be devastating.
“It’s a wonderful event that showcases Malmesbury world-wide, and is something that thousands of people look forward to, and it must go ahead.”