Mendacious District Council quote fire concerns (see below) as the reason to close down the BGG.
This is an extract from the witness statement from Duncan Jon White, Station Manager Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service:
“and they had contracted ‘Midland Fire’ ( a private company who provides fire-fighting equipment) to carry out risk assessments for the venues. We would require ‘Midland Fire’ to demonstrate an acceptable level of competency and understanding of the current fire safety legislation in order for us to accept the findings of any risk assessments undertaken by them on behalf of the event organisers.”
“We (DSFRS) are of the opinion that even with a Fire Safety Management Strategy the level of understanding and competence of the Event Management Team in relation to fire safety isn’t of a sufficient standard to ensure public safety is maintained.”
Despite the fact that the licence for the Big Green Gathering was granted on 30th June and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Services had made no representations to the Council on the suitability of Midland Fire Services before the granting of the licence, they came to the Multi Agency meeting held on 23rd July and made the above assertions.
The Big Green Gathering has employed Midland Fire Services for several years now and there have been no serious fire issues at the Big Green Gathering. There have never been any objections to Midland Fire Services prior to this and indeed Midland Fire Services are well known in the event industry. Previous officers in the county fire brigade have praised the efficiency and ability of Midland Fire.
Experience and Expertise
We are specialists in the provision of fire protection and safety services for all types of outdoor events; large and small. We have over 10 years experience in providing such services, and have had the privilege to have been associated with many prestigious national events, major rock and music festivals. We have invested heavily in appropriate equipment and vehicles for the role.
Our Managing Director, Mr. Robin Crane is acknowledged as one of the leading specialists in event fire safety in the UK, and has written a large number of papers on the subject. He has been the site fire officer for one of Britain's leading rock festivals for 9 years, dealing with all aspects of fire safety and emergency response. He has also been invited to give presentations on special event fire safety to many organisations including other fire services.
* Fire Safety Consultancy
* Fire Risk Assessments
* Fire Extinguisher, Safety Sign and Fire Alarm hire
* Temporary Fire Alarm Systems
* Fire Extinguisher Sales and Maintenance
* Training Services
* Site Fire Officers and Trained Fire Fighters
* Fire and Rescue Standby Cover
* Water Bowser and Temporary Emergency Water Supply Containers
* Helicopter Support
* Health and Safety Services
Major Clients have included:
* VE Celebrations
* VJ Day Celebration
* The Queen's Silver Jubilee Celebrations
* The Royal Military Tattoo
* The Princes Trust Party in the Park
* The Royal Pageant of Horse
* The Reading Rock Festival 1994 to date
* The Leeds Rock Festival 1999 to date
* Virgin Music Festivals 1997 to date
* The WOMAD Festivals 1996 to date
* The London Fleadh 1994 to date
* The Homelands Music Festivals to date
* The Oasis Finsbury Park Concerts 2002
* The Mayor of London GLA Respect Festivals
* The London Mardi Gras
* The Essential Festivals
* The Big Green Gathering
* Truckfest and Truckfest South West
And Numerous Corporate and smaller events.
RL: so in conclusion Midland are competent, and the ban still looks like a stitch up for political purposes.
The BGG was a venue for the HorseDrawn community. People who are critical of their ethos (and, like the rest of us, they are not perfect) should look at this beautiful video - Live Before You Die.