Scottish Promoters Use a ‘Wedding’ to Try to Foil Licensing Laws

September 2004

Live Event Industry

A local authority has banned a music festival in the Scottish Lothians after organisers tried to bill it as a wedding to help escape the need for licensing. Twisted Events, the company behind Green’s Music Festival, had hoped to overcome problems licensing the event with West Lothian Council by rebranding it as a private wedding party. A couple had offered to take the plunge on stage to help push the event forward as licensing negotiations between organisers and council chiefs rumbled on. As a private party, entertainment and alcohol licensing was not required and twenty four local young rock acts were due to perform for 1000 revellers on farmland near Broxburn. The bands had taken part in a competition. But the local authority took the organisers to court, threatening to ban the event entirely. At Linlithgow Sheriff Court the parties reached an out-of-court settlement but an array of restrictions were slapped on the “wedding”. All bands enlisted to perform were cancelled while restraints were placed upon music played and numbers of guests permitted. In addition, council and police officials had to be informed fully about all plans. The couple who had planned to get married said the lack of bands was ‘bad news’. The reported that a spokesperson for Twisted Events had said “We’re all hugely disappointed. We can’t understand this. This whole fiasco has been a nightmare.” A West Lothian Council spokesman confirmed an all-out ban on the event had been averted but restrictions had been enforced. The council has been assured that this event will be organised as a wedding for 200 guests and that they would be provided with details of security arrangements, sound system and marquee.

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