Pub in the Park festival to go ahead in Chichester a week earlier than planned

Pub in the Park
Pub in the Park

A three-day food and music festival in the city will go ahead after a compromise was agreed between the organisers and the Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT).

Pub in the Park, where visitors can enjoy food cooked by celebrity chefs, live music and boutique shopping was due to be held in Oaklands Park from Friday May 29 to Sunday May 31.

However after sound testing earlier this week it became apparent the event could not be held at the same time as performances at the neighbouring CFT due to ‘noise bleed’ from the live music.

Following negotiations between the venue and festival organisers the dates for this year have been brought forward to Saturday May 23 to Monday May 25.

That weekend no productions are scheduled in the main theatre, but a Saturday matinee showing at the Minerva Theatre will be moved to a weekday, while the Saturday evening performance will be cancelled.

As a result of the successful mediation, Chichester District Council’s alcohol and entertainment licensing sub committee granted Brand Events TM Ltd a premises licence for the annual event today (Thursday January 23).

Afterwards Steve Lane, managing director of Pub in the Park, said they were pleased to have reached a positive outcome and looked forward to working with the CFT team in the run up to the festival.

He added: “Pub in the Park is committed to bringing the finest food, music and chefs to the heart of local communities and to become a welcome and complimentary addition to the local events calendar.”

Officers described how the sound test, carried out at ‘considerable expense’ by the applicant, had resulted in a fairly strong noise signal across the park felt by the theatre.

Kathy Bourne, executive director at CFT, said: “The noise bleed was possibly worse than we had anticipated and events working simultaneously was never going to be possible.”

She described the importance of the applicant working with them to ensure there are no clashes in future years.

Meanwhile CFT artistic director Daniel Evans stressed how they were ‘very supportive of these kind of events coming to Chichester’.

Katie Caines, operations manager for Brand Events, described how the sound test was audible within the theatre and had demonstrated the event was not going to work taking place alongside a CFT production.

Since they would not expect the theatre to change its planned three productions they felt it was ‘beneficial’ to move the festival forward one weekend.

She said there was a ‘fantastic appetite for this event’ in Chichester, with sign up currently beating the company’s flagship event.

Pub in the Park is entering its fourth year and the Chichester event would be the 15th to be held across the country.