A PLANNED new music festival for a farm site near Beaminster will not be taking place this summer – a Dorset licensing panel has been told.

The event has raised an objection from the police and parish councillors based around the suitability of local roads, but raised no other statutory objections.

A consultant appearing for the organisers says an extra year is needed to sort out a full management plan for the event – to make it better and safer for everyone including those attending and local people.

“It’s got to be right and things which are rushed are rarely right, so that’s why it has been put back to 2025,” said Mr Nick Semper at the start of Thursday's hearing in Dorchester.

The applicants, HopTails Ltd, based in Sherborne, were not at the meeting which left the panel unable to get direct answers to some of its questions.

Licensing consultant Mr Semper, applying for a licence for the event, said that all the queries about roads, and other issues, would be deal with ‘upstream’ with the management plan for the event which would have to be approved by a Safety Advisory Group.

He said that the organisers found themselves in a chicken and egg situation which was why a licence was being applied for before the full management plan was drawn up, but he added that, apart from the police, none of the statutory organisations had raised an objection, including highways, environmental health, fire and rescue and Dorset Council’s planning and licensing teams.

The event, Dorsom at Seaborough Manor Farm, Beaminster, is described as “a music festival providing a broad and eclectic range of popular music, specifically intended to appeal to a wide audience of varied musical tastes.”

It was expected to take place between July 18th and 21st, with ticket sales limited to 5,000 for the first year, and thought likely to reach up to 10,000 in subsequent years.

Residents had said it will swamp the area and expect traffic problems on the narrow country roads – a view shared by Dorset Police, especially at the time of local harvesting and the start of the school summer holidays.

Police representative, Jon Bean, told the panel that if the event was going to be as ‘family friendly’ as described by the organisers why was drinking required until 3am.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Dorset Council’s licensing panel was being asked to decide on whether to allow recorded music and alcohol sales up to 3am on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with live music expected to stop at midnight, each time the event is held.

Their decision on the licence is expected to be announced next week.

Dorset Police said that with 5,000 to 10,000 attending roads could be blocked with emergency access likely to become challenging should blue light services be needed in the event of an emergency.

Eight other comments had been lodged from neighbours and Broadwindsor Parish Council. Many of these were concerns with public safety, alcohol and drugs, noise levels and the proximity of the site to the River Axe which, it is claimed, may become polluted with “wild weeing” and litter.

Mr Semper said that the issue of ‘wild weeing’ would not occur now, because the organisers planned to remove the banks of the River Axe from the licensable area together with an area known locally as Little Jamaica,  a special wildlife area.

Said the parish council on the application in its submission: “Large number of people in one confined area with access to alcohol and drugs, there will be an element who will indulge to excess with the usual consequences of arguments, fights, and unacceptable behaviour. Rural crime is already a growing problem – this event will be seen as an opportunity and /or cover for criminal activity on site and in the local area.”

One resident said the site is “quite simply the wrong place for such a major event” and warns of the disruption to local wildlife and effects on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

A map submitted with the licence application shows a range of attractions, including fun-fair style rides, camping and motorhome and caravan areas, bars, food tents and details of vehicle routes and parking.