Design compliments of Stable design © Kingsbury May Festival 2011
Kingsbury May Festival 2017

It is with great sadness that the Kingsbury
May Festival Committee announces that it will not
be able to organise the 2017 Festival.

In many ways we have become victims of our own success –
the Festival has grown enormously in recent years and now
attracts some 5,000 visitors; these numbers bring with them
quite serious safety issues.

The South Somerset Safety Advisory Group (SSSAG), which
consists of Council and Emergency Services representatives, has
raised a number of concerns falling into three main areas:

• Ensuring clear and unrestricted access for emergency vehicles
to all areas of the site, including street, fields and car parks.

• Provision of a second large emergency exit for the
Saturday evening ‘Music in the Marquee’ event.

• The clear separation of pedestrians and vehicles, particularly
at the top of Church Street and the routes between the
Methodist Church, Wyndham Arms and disabled car park.

SSSAG work in an advisory capacity and we must take on board
their input in our planning for the protection of people attending
the Festival, and also ourselves as Festival organisers.

The issues can be resolved but only with large expenditure –
and considerably more time. The emergency exit for the
Saturday Music Event, for example, requires a
decision by the Diocesan Church Council plus Planning
Permission. To manage vehicles and pedestrian separation
the hire of barriers, traffic controls, and application for a
highways order etc are required. We will work with
SSSAG to come up with solutions to all the safety issues raised.

Given the uncertainties and timelines involved (at the time of
decision there were only 16 weeks to go before the Festival)
we had to make a decision based on the information to hand
and could not delay any further as we would need to book
attractions, stallholders, bands etc. We also wanted to provide as
much notice as possible to all our supporters.

However, this is not the end of the Festival!! We are
determined to put on a better, safer festival in 2018 and
other events will still take place in 2017, for example the Good
Friday Walk and the Withy Workshop. We are also considering
a number of small additional fund raising community events
to take place during the year - please look out
for announcements in due course.

This was a very difficult decision as we know that the
Festival is popular and provides a unique
and much loved community event which alsobrings important
funds to local organisations, charities and businesses.

For further information please contact Paul Carpenter,
Chairman, Kingsbury May Festival Committee on
01935 825470 or 07590503522.

8th January 2017