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Loud music from Wolverley festival breached licence, court told
Updated 4:07pm Wednesday 8th January 2014 in Local
LOUD music from a festival in Wolverley that kept residents awake for two consecutive nights breached the terms of a temporary events notice, a court heard.
Lesley Mountford, of Load Street, in Bewdley, denies knowingly allowing loud amplified music to be carried on at Court Farm in Wolverley after 11.30pm on Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29, in 2012.
Worcestershire Regulatory Service (WRS) and West Mercia Police received a barrage of complaints about the noise coming from the one-off music, arts and dance (MAD) festival, which residents claim carried on until 8am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday.
Nina Dorrell, prosecuting on behalf of Wyre Forest District Council, told Kidderminster Magistrates yesterday that the defendant did not "take reasonable precautions" or have any controls in place to prevent music being played after hours.
Mountford claimed she personally turned the music off before she left the site at midnight on both evenings.
WRS technical officer Keith Park said that when he visited the site on Saturday night, Mountford told him that if music was played outside the hours permitted by the licence, it was due to people playing music from their cars.
The temporary events notice granted permission for live music and DJs from 5pm to 11.30pm on Friday and 11am to 11.30pm on Saturday.
Witness Malcolm Lockwood, of Wolverley Road, told the court that he and his wife failed to sleep on both nights.
He said: "We tried to go to bed but even with the windows of our property closed, which are heavy doubled glazed, the sound of the music was reverberating through of the walls of the house."
He contacted West Mercia Police four times over the weekend, at 4am and 6.30am on Saturday and 1.30am and 6.30am on Sunday.
Mr Lockwood said the volume was "in excess" of anything he knew could be produced from an in-car entertainment system.
Mr Park, who deals with out of hours noise complaints for WRS, told the court he was first called by his control room at 9.30pm on Friday.
He visited a complainant in Springfield Lane in Kidderminster and went inside the house to "make sure that they were being disturbed".
He then drove to Wolverley Road and found people at a gate taking money for the event.
He told the court: "I asked people what the event was, they told me straight away that there was a licence in force. I was more concerned with what was actually going on.
"I didn't see the speakers but if you've been to any nightclubs and field events you get to know the equipment that they're using."
Mr Park returned to the site at 1am on Saturday and said the music was still playing.
He was called again by the control room on Saturday evening and went to the festival site at 9.30pm to speak to Mountford.
He added: "There was a mention that the previous night's music was played by gypsies who were playing their car radios very loud. I don't believe that for a moment. It was coming out a big speaker box.
"A car radio is tinnier, there's more echo coming out of a car. It doesn't have the quality of a big speaker. In my mind, there's no way it could have come out of a car.
"We spoke about the noise complaints that had been received. She showed me the notice and I advised her to keep the noise to a reasonable level.
"The most important thing was the music had to stop at 11.30pm otherwise she was going to be in trouble because of the night before.
"I have no power to turn it down myself, I have to get the designated premises supervisor [the defendant] to do it."
He went back to the site at 1.40am and 2.30am on Sunday and the music was still being played.
In Mountford's interview with WRS officers, which was read aloud to the court, she said she had ensured no bands or DJs were playing past 11.30pm on both nights and had stopped the music herself with a music technician before she left at midnight.
She claimed that it could not have been turned back on as there were stewards on site and it was specialist equipment.
She told officers: "I made sure the music was switched off, I made sure the alcohol was removed from the site and I made sure the tents were closed.
"I can't comment on anything that happened after I left."
The case continues.