One of the UK’s foremost dance music festivals, Glade, has been cancelled for 2010. Organisers have cited near-impossible police conditions as the reason behind their sad decision to pull the event.
Glade was due to take place on 15 - 18th July in the Matterley Bowl, Winchester – the old Homelands site. Orbital, Simian Mobile Disco, Tricky and Jeff Mills were among the headliners, while the event also pushed most underground dance music styles. A free spirited non-corporate haven, Glade was due to host dubstep, drum & bass, techno, breaks, electro and psy-trance tents with many of the top names from all those scenes scheduled to play.
The festival grew out of a wooded glade area at Glastonbury in Somerset between the Other Stage, the theatre and circus fields. It began as a music area at Glasto around the Millennium, and in 2004 started as a separate festival on the Wasing Estate near Reading in Berkshire with acts such as Timo Maas, Freq Nasty, 808 State and Aphex Twin performing.
Last year it moved to the Matterley Bowl in Hampshire with its biggest ever line-up, including Underworld, Booka Shade live, Squarepusher, Carl Craig, Nitin Sawhney, Finley Quaye, Femi Kuti and Juan Atkins.
A statement on the Glade website expressed sadness at the cancellation. “When we started back in 2004 we did so out of a love of electronic music, free spiritedness and alternative culture and in response to the vibrant free party scene in the UK. We wanted to have our own version of the kind of colourful, creative and non-corporate events that happen in many places across the planet... Looking back it is amazing that it happened.
“As many Glade fans will know over the years we have fought hard to maintain the integrity of the event against steadily increasing restrictions imposed by local authority and police. The resulting compromises have led to increased costs, increased ticket prices and a throttling of the very essence of what we wanted to do. It led to us finally having to move from the lovely Wasing estate due to late-night noise restrictions and the police’s demands for an ever-increasing security and police presence at the event.
“At our new venue, Matterley Bowl, there has actually been some amazing support from the local council whose officers recognize the professional and co-operative way we run the event and the contribution to the local area and the country’s cultural diversity. They have worked with us to ensure the Glade is a safe and enjoyable event and openly recognize that we have one of the best event management teams in the country to do this.
“However this year the requirements imposed upon us for policing, security and stewarding have been greatly increased. To make matters worse the reluctance of the police to negotiate in advance and deliberately delay any dialogue with us has resulted in our being unable to tie down a final costing for the event. This, along with unexpected legal fees associated with a last minute license review, has radically increased the cost of the festival.”
The statement goes on to express the importance Glade placed on production values, and how imposed extra costs for policing and security left them with no option than to pull the event.
Ticket holders are able to obtain a face value refund by emailing [email protected] or by calling 0844 888 4409. Booking fees will be retained as an admin fee.
Glade fans responded angrily to the news on forums and swiftly set-up Facebook groups, with many blaming the Hampshire Constabulary. Police costs for festivals have more than doubled in the last few years, with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) setting a figure of £55 per hour per officer, and stating that festivals pose a greater risk to public safety than any other outdoor event, including football matches.
At present, it’s uncertain whether Glade will continue, although the statement on the Glade site hinted that the event may rise from the ashes in some shape or form.
“It has been a brilliant trip and there’s been some beautiful moments in time, but for now we can’t go on. We hope that this is not the end of the story and we will continue to strive to create a genuine grass roots, community based, control-free, true spirited dance festival in the UK.”