Simon and Kirstine Champion have responded to the single complaint from a Hambridge resident about noise levels at this year's Curry Rivel Live and which was printed in the Western Gazette.
They have recently discovered from several Hambridge residents that there was a private party taking place in Hambridge on the same night and that is where the noise was coming from. There have been complaints received about these in the past. At the time of publishing this article there has been no apology either from the Western Gazette or the complainant.
Curry Rivel Live celebrated its fifth anniversary in June and attracted just under 500 people to the Westfield site in the village showcasing a wide range of local talent.
Simon and Kirstine Champion had earlier responded to the anonymous email, emphasising the community role of the festival. Addressing the complainant directly, they said: "I am sorry to hear you experienced a negative feeling towards our family festival we hold in Curry Rivel which is created for the local community to come together to enjoy an evening of live music, and to support local organisations raise much needed funds for their groups. This festival is in its fifth year now and I am surprised you have not heard of it before being in the next village on."
The Champions — who run the Champion Music Group — stated that the festival's noise level was fully within the terms of its licence. They said: "Our festival is run by a professional event management team, which ensures all the necessary legal requirements are upheld to and are put in place — one of these being our noise management plan"
They continued: "Throughout the year, we are constantly in talks with a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) which consists of all the heads from every authority — the police, the fire service and South Somerset District Council. This is where we submit our full festival license and regulations for them to approve on, and we have done so for the last five years. Our noise management plan consists of regular sound monitoring readings which are currently being assessed and will be released shortly. We take readings from the festival itself — the closest affected buildings and a 1 mile radius of the site, periodically throughout the day. These are then sent to the authorities for viewing if required.
"Our license allows us to operate live music from midday right through until 1 am. After which the site is locked down and no music or licensable activities is allowed. I am somewhat confused with the statement as you mention 'your neighbour was still awake at 3 am' — this, I'm afraid, could not be possible as the site was closed by 1 am. Maybe another event locally could have been taking place."
The couple added that they had never received any concern from local residents about the noise levels at either this year's festival or during any of the previous years' events. They said:
"The local residents receive a letter of warning one month in advance in order to voice their concerns and ask any questions. From this letter we have never received any contact or concerns. The Parish Council supports the event fully as it situated within their playing fields. The festival is all for the community"
"I hope this gives you a clearer picture of our event and what we try to achieve, and we welcome any feedback or assistance on making our festival an enjoyable family event for everyone to enjoy."