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A COASTAL music festival returns next month with new areas and ‘sunset stage’ included in its new licence.

The organisation and engagement with authorities of those behind Westival was praised during discussions of a new licence application to Pembrokeshire County Council this week.

The council’s licensing committee heard from event organiser Joe Worley at a meeting on Monday (June 20) and the plans to include two new stages and a sunset stage in another adjacent field, where music will be played until 10pm.

Mr Worley said that the different areas will be a benefit for attendees and improve footfall around the site at Shipping Farm, where previous festivals have been held.

The committee heard that a 3am licence for the Friday and Saturday of the four-day event – starting on July 21 – had been granted in 2020 but covid-19 put a stop to that festival, with the previous year’s event finishing at 1am.

On the Thursday and Sunday of the event music will stop at midnight.

Councillor Mark Carter raised concerns about a potential increase in complaints after 1am, calling the extension to the time limits “fairly radical” and the committee heard there had only been five complaints after the 2019 event, three of which were repeats of after 2018.

“There will be a combination of live bands and dj’s playing across four stages across the course of the weekend. To help generate as much revenue for the local area as possible, local food vendors will be utilised and the bar will feature local ales and beers,” the licence application states.

Mr Worley said that a specialist noise management company was being employed to monitor levels and a helpline number will be available during the festival with complaints investigated and alterations made if necessary.

He added that there would be a drop in volume at 11pm and 1am “to reduce the likelihood of getting any noise complaints.”

Dyfed Powys Police licensing officer Nigel Lewis said there had been no complaints about previous events “other than a few noise complaints” and no evidence of crime and disorder, issues of public safety or other issues, adding that police had never been called to site.

He highlighted the “comprehensive event management plan” and the work done with him and local authority officers to “ensure a safe and trouble free event.”

One objection was received from a neighbour, and was considered by the committee, before it granted the application.

Committee chairman Cllr Tim Evans said members were “satisfied the applicant worked effectively with the police licensing officer and pollution control officer and agreed with the suggested conditions that will be imposed.”

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