St Albans’ Pub in the Park festival still needs green light from council

Pub In The Park.

Pub In The Park. - Credit: Archant

A high profle festival of food, drink and music planned for a prestigious St Albans park is still to receive the go-ahead from the district council.

Pub In The Park.

Pub In The Park. - Credit: Archant

The planned three-day Pub in the Park festival promises a musical line-up that includes Scouting for Girls, Toploader, Razorlight, Stereo MCs and Will Young.

Alongside the live entertainment there promises to be food and demonstrations by world-class chefs, Michelin starred pubs and other top food outlets – all fronted by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge.

Tickets for the September event – in Verulamium Park – are due to go on sale on February 1.

But it has now emerged that the event doesn’t yet have the permission it needs to go-ahead.

Pub In The Park.

Pub In The Park. - Credit: Archant

Although festival organisers say they already have a contract with the council for the festival, the council says discussions are still “at an early stage”.

And even if the council was willing for Verulamium Park to be used, the nature and scale of the festival is likely to need planning permission and a licence – which it does not yet have.

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The council’s deputy chief executive (commercial and development) Richard Shwe says he is “surprised” that Verulamium Park is already being promoted as one of the eight venues for the touring festival.

“We are talking with Pub in the Park about their ambition of holding one of their events at Verulamium Park this summer,” he said.

“They approached us a while ago and discussions are at an early stage.

“A number of issues, such as planning and licensing permissions, would need to be dealt with to allow such an event to go ahead.

“We will also consult with councillors, residents, local businesses and other interested parties to hear their views.”

Last month the park was used as part of the Meraki Christmas Festival. And Mr Shwe says the council will be keen to scrutinise the impact of that event before others are planned.

He said: “A number of difficulties emerged with the Christmas Festival in the park, including some opposition from nearby residents concerned about noise, environmental damage and other issues.

“We need to properly evaluate the impact of that festival and see what lessons need to be learned, especially as Pub in the Park is on a larger scale.

“I am surprised the park has been promoted as a venue for the event at this early stage.”

However Pub in the Park organisers Brand Events say they already have a contract with the council to hold the event in Verulamium Park in September.

A spokesperson for Brand Events said: “We’ve been in discussion with the council regarding hosting Pub in the Park in St Albans since July 2018 and a contract to hold the event was issued in mid-October last year.

“As is normal we have kept everyone informed of our plans at every step of the way.

“We are working closely with the council to ensure the event is held as planned.”

Tickets for the three-day Pub in the Park event are due to go on sale on February 1, costing £30 for an afternoon session (£20 for children, aged 6 to 15) or £165 for the whole weekend (£90 for children).