Agenda item


Application for a New Premises Licence – Mad Husky Events Limited (51st State Festival)


RECEIVED the application made by Mad Husky Events Limited for the premises situated at Trent Park, Cockfosters Road, Cockfosters, EN4 0PS for a New Premises Licence.




1.    The introductory statement of Ellie Green, Principal Licensing Officer, including:


a.    The application was made by Mad Husky Events Limited for a new premises licence, in Trent Park.

b.    The application was for an annual event, but limited to two consecutive weekend days per year, with a maximum capacity at any one time of 17,500 people.

c.    This year the event would take place on one day only: Saturday 3 August 2019.

d.    Mad Husky Events Limited had applied for and been granted a one off premises licence for the previous two years. The 51st State Festival had been held since 2014 in Trent Park.

e.    There had been no formal action by responsible authorities following any of the previous events.

f.     The application was for licensable activities between 11:00am and 10:30pm, including regulated entertainment, and sale of alcohol from 11:00am to 9:45pm on Saturday, with times on Sunday to be one hour less.

g.    Trent Park had a full premises licence. The Council’s Parks Department were the licence holder.

h.    Trent Park was hosting additional festivals this summer. More details were set out on page 3 of the agenda pack.

i.      This application had received 17 representations by other persons in objection: these were local people, resident groups, parks groups and ward councillors, referred to as IP1 to IP17, and set out in Annex 5 of the report.

j.      This application had also received five supporting representations from residents and local businesses, referred to as SUP01 to SUP05, and set out in Annex 6 of the report.

k.    The representations in objection were based on all four licensing objectives.

l.      The applicant had responded, as set out in Annex 3 and provided information on the noise management plan in Annex 4 of the report.

m.  The Licensing Authority originally made representation, seeking modifications to conditions. The applicant agreed the conditions and subsequently the representation had been withdrawn.

n.    The Metropolitan Police had not made any representation.

o.    The applicant had been in consultation with Enfield’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG). Esther Hughes, chair of SAG was in attendance at the hearing today.

p.    Since the report was published, further amended lists of conditions were produced and the final agreed list was set out in Annex 9.

q.    At this hearing it would be for the Licensing Sub-Committee to determine whether the application was supported the four licensing objectives.

r.     Representatives of the applicant present included Lizamarie O’Sullivan, Director of Mad Husky Events Limited, Saba Naqshbandi, Counsel, and representatives from PA Company, Sabre Security, and Vanguardia.

s.    IP3, IP11 and IP12 were present. A note had been received from IP4 who wished to apologise for their absence, and had an objection to the whole of licensing in Enfield. This matter was being dealt with outside the hearing.


2.    The statement of Saba Naqshbandi, Counsel for the applicant, including:


a.    In the past four years, the 51st State Festival had been hosted at Trent Park. This year a one day event was planned on Saturday 3 August 2019.

b.    There had been no representations from the Police to this or previous applications. The organiser had worked with the Police every year, discussed the way forward, and been fully co-operative.

c.    There had been representation from the Licensing Authority, seeking modifications to conditions. This had been an ongoing process and the agreed conditions were as set out in Annex 9.

d.    In a global response to the representations from other persons it was advised that 51st State Festival was a day festival with no camping and with a variety of music including soul, reggae and disco. It was confirmed there would be no overnight camping. Attendance was by over 18s only, and the music genres appealed to an older crowd. The core audience was in the 25 to 40 age group. In previous years an application had been made for a time limited licence. This application sought a premises licence. This was something which had always been discussed and proposed once a few years’ experience had been built up.

e.    Future event dates would be determined by the applicant in conjunction with SAG, and SAG would continue to provide oversight and post-event review. In any case, there could be recourse via Environmental Health regarding any noise concerns, and other means whereby the licence could be brought back for review.

f.     An incremental approach had been taken in respect of capacity, rising from 10,000 to 12,500 to 15,000 and this application was for a capacity of 17,500. For comparison, the ELROW Festival maximum capacity granted was 24,999. In doing this, there had been no objection from the responsible authorities of the capacity number. If there had been any real concern it would have been expected that the Police would have made an objection but that had not been the case.

g.    Otherwise, the 51st State Festival would be very similar to last year’s event, with five stages and several bars and food stalls. The last entry would be 6:00pm, with all attendees in by 7:00pm when the venue would be closed to ingress. There would be no re-entry permitted. Soft closure would begin from 9:00pm. Music would begin winding down from 9:00pm. All alcohol sales would stop at 9:45pm and all music would stop at 10:00pm. Gates would shut at 10:30pm. Times were modest.

h.    Mad Husky Events Limited, and Lizamarie O’Sullivan its Director, were experienced and had been involved with the festival all four years, running it for the last two. Lizamarie O’Sullivan had held a personal licence for nine years and had been a general manager of a large nightclub and run a number of large festivals in parks including Finsbury Park and Brockwell Park.

i.      Every year there was consultation with health and safety, medical and independent experts, and close liaison with Enfield Council. A debrief looked for new measures to improve the following year as an ongoing process. The organisers worked closely with the Police and the SAG.

j.      There had been engagement with resident groups, including a specific meeting held on 5 June 2019, with the applicant, representatives and LB Enfield.

k.    Documentation regarding the festival operation and management was very lengthy, but the noise management plan was provided for assistance. SAG had reviewed all the documentation. These were working documents up to the last moment of the event. Mad Husky Events Limited were reflective and reviewed issues. Changes this year included employment of an external manager Simon Duvall with 15 years’ experience, who would liaise on traffic management, residents, local security, etc. There was also a new traffic management company this year. Documents had been prepared regarding risk assessment, evacuation, waste management, traffic management, construction, etc.

l.      Annex 9 set out the up-to-date 19 conditions agreed. These would deal with every aspect of the operation of the event.

m.  Objectors had raised concerns about damage to the site. In Year 3 there had been extremely bad weather, but every year any damage was made good.

n.    In respect of noise concerns, a noise management plan had been drawn up by Vanguardia as previously. Measures would include noise limiters, site layout to mitigate issues, sound checks before the event to set an appropriate level, and staff to monitor on and off site at regular intervals. Staff would visit residents if required. Last year, five noise complaints were received, between 1:00pm and 6:37pm and they were all responded to on the day. Sound levels were reduced or compressions added. That no complaints were received after 6:37pm suggested that the plan was good. Council staff would also be in the event control room, and there would be SAG meetings during and after.

o.    In respect of traffic management, all attendees were encouraged not to drive to the event. Transport for London (TfL) had confirmed that the number of attendees could be managed to Cockfosters tube station. The traffic management team last year, unknown to Mad Husky Events Limited, were dealing with two events on the same day. Apologies were expressed on behalf of Mad Husky Events Limited for that. Part of the agreement this year was that the company worked only at this one event on 3 August. Additionally this year there would be division into areas, with an individual manager. This year there would be no road which could not be accessed by residents, and appropriate signs and diversions would be in place.

p.    In respect of crowd management policy, a soft closure process was planned. TfL were happy with the increased numbers. There would be liaison with British Transport Police to be present. Mad Husky Events Limited had paid for additional Police presence of one Inspector, three Sergeants and 18 Officers.

q.    Communication and planning had improved. This year loud hailers would be used to direct people, with signs to remind attendees to be quiet on leaving the venue. Portaloos would be provided again in the cricket field. Road closures would last until 11:30pm and marshalls would be in place until the area was clear.

r.     A deployment plan had been drawn up with Sabre Security. Three entrances to the festival would include general entry with 15 search lanes, VIP entry with eight search lanes for 2,800 people, and an artist and staff entrance with one search lane. CCTV would cover the venue, with focussed and panoramic views.

s.    In respect of protection of children from harm, the festival had an over-18 only policy, and Challenge 25 training for bar staff. A ‘cut out and keep guide’ would be sent to all attendees. A ratio of one Security individual per 60 people went beyond recommendations.

t.     Responsible authorities had not made representation or raised concern regarding the increased capacity. Very few complaints received was reflective of the event being well run. There was always room for improvement, and this would continue up to the event. If concerns should arise, there were statutory ways to bring a review to Licensing Sub Committee or the Magistrates Court.

u.    Supporting representations were also highlighted, with apologies that none were able to attend the hearing, but some local people who had concerns in the beginning were now enthusiastic and enjoyed attending the festival.


3.    The applicant and their representatives responded to questions, including:


a.    In response to the Chair’s query regarding adequate toilet provision, it was confirmed that provision would be greater than required by guidance, and there would also be several disabled units across the site. On egress, portaloos at the cricket field would be advertised as the last facilities before the station, but there would be more along the road near the station and the taxi pick up point, which would be marshalled by TfL taxi marshals.

b.    In response to further queries regarding CCTV provision, it was confirmed that the management plan specified the provision that all search lanes would be covered at all entry points. There would also be two bird’s eye view cameras covering the whole site, and cameras from the main stage looking into the main crowd.

c.    In response to further queries regarding security provision, it was advised that a dedicated security company would be dealing with the external areas, including Cockfosters Road, Bramley car park and Cockfosters Station. There would be liaison with Environmental Health in respect of the no drinking zone. As attendees entered the festival, any alcohol on their person would be removed. Security for the egress would begin at 6:00pm or earlier with the soft closure and entry gates would close at 7:00pm with no more ingress. The search team of 50 would be redeployed to external areas and be on the egress route by 7:30pm. People would be directed to leave via the cricket field and via Cockfosters Road. At 9:00pm the hard road closure would begin. Security personnel would put in barriers, slowing people going to Cockfosters Station, with crowd planning to stop and start movement so there would be no overcrowding at the station. The station could hold up to 300 people, following TfL recommendations.

d.    In response to queries in respect of damage to the park, the problems with rain in Year 3 were advised and that the bond had been paid to the Council, and that in future a time extension would be sought for de-rigging in similar circumstances. Truckways were laid down in the park, and the ground was now well known, and there was close working and assistance with the Parks Department.

e.    In response to a query whether the same provisions would apply to the two day licence, it was confirmed that each event day would be planned independently. All installations brought in for one day would be kept on site for day two. It was also advised that the five inside arenas were big circus-like tents. The VIP area had an open sided structure. The main stage was fully open.

f.     In response to further requests for details, the site plan was highlighted and that the capacity would be comfortable across the space. The site was well understood, and how the crowd moved, and timings of sets. Each arena had its own separate entrance and hosted a different type of music, and the artists’ calibre differed. Each arena had its own capacity specified by a health and safety officer and these were monitored. Each arena had a dedicated security team trained in advance, to control how the arena was filled and prevent overcrowding.

g.    Further information on security was provided, that on the day there would be more than 277 security officers at a ratio of one per 60 attendees, and had been worked out by Vanguardia for the various tasks as more than sufficient and would allow staff to be redeployed and provide a supplement of extra staff. This number included a team for the outside of the park and for the search area as well as inside. Esther Hughes clarified that SAG had an advisory role and it was for the client to risk assess the event and was their ratio for them to deliver. Counsel for the applicant highlighted that Police were aware and had no concern about the security provision ratio.

h.    In response to further queries from the Panel, it was confirmed that no alcoholic drinks would be sold at food stalls, which would have only soft drinks. Alcohol could only be purchased at specified bars. Lizamarie O’Sullivan would be the Designated Premises Supervisor and each bar would have a personal licence holder then a manager overseeing the staff. The bar company used staff who worked in the bar industry and gave them a briefing on the day. The same company had also been used in Year 3 and Year 4. Managers were on site in days prior to the festival. Each bar also had a refusals log and independent folders, and Environmental Health would also inspect on the day. There would be zero tolerance around entry for over-18s only with photographic identification required for entry and robust enforcement. Total medical staff would be 21, planned with NHS advice, and two ambulances. In addition, security staff at strategic locations could act as first responders and had substantial first aid qualifications.

i.      Councillor Edward Smith (Cockfosters Ward Councillor) asked for reassurance that all documents required had been submitted and signed off. Esther Hughes clarified that SAG did not ‘sign off’ documentation but were an advisory body. Information required to be submitted had been received and had been gone through, but the documents were live and updates were also coming through: there was no deadline for the process.

j.      In response to a further query from Councillor Smith, the Police presence was confirmed as one Inspector, three Sergeants and 18 Police Officers. Silver Command would be on site on the day.

k.    In response to queries from Councillor Alessandro Georgiou (Cockfosters Ward Councillor), the powers of security personnel were confirmed and that they would be in contact with Police at all times to prevent disorder. If any disorder was identified it would be dealt with by by security and the Police. Security personnel were also welfare-conscious: anyone found to be intoxicated would be helped, with the medical providers, to sober up or assisted to get somewhere safely. There would be proactive work to identify intoxicated attendees and manage so they were not on the street bothering residents. Such nuisance would be minimised as much as possible. There were provisions to manage the numbers of people, including the stop / start system on egress, and the soft closure. There were the resources to redeploy staff as necessary. The crowd would be regularly monitored and a proactive approach undertaken to manage before any problems arose.

l.      Residents raised anti-social behaviour and public urination witnessed in residential streets around Cockfosters Road after previous events and that marshals had not acted to stop this. It was advised that this year there would be redeployment of additional security in those areas involving TfL taxi marshals, traffic company personnel and a number of security officers to ensure this did not happen. There would be manned barriers so residents could access locations but not festival goers. Further to the residents’ meeting, people would be prevented from sitting in the green areas at Westpole Avenue. Security had been discussed in depth and separate areas designated, with a manager each for Cockfosters North, Central, and South, and a solid team of security and traffic management personnel. This would reduce any disturbances. It was confirmed that each road would have one trained Chapter 8 overseer and a traffic marshal in place.


4.    The statements on behalf of the objectors, including:


a.    Councillor Edward Smith (IP12) advised that the basic concern of local residents and ward councillors was that, with its relatively small suburban station, this was not a suitable area for large events. Given this site’s unsuitability and the increase in numbers of attendees each year he would recommend consideration of alternative venues for the festival. The Chair advised that the comments would be minuted, but that this hearing was to determine the application received.

b.    On behalf of Cockfosters Local Area Residents Association, Colin Bull (IP3) also stated that the site was unsuitable. A festival with attendees, often pre-loaded with alcohol, then able to drink for 11 hours was uncomfortable to live next to for local residents. Residents also had concerns there would be insufficient numbers of Police to deal with 17,000 people. Also the road closures during the event caused problems for residents, and there was no liaison with Barnet Council despite the ‘rat-run’ between the boroughs through these roads. In respect of noise, the organiser had worked constructively to make the event as painless as possible for residents, but there was still concern that the crowds were intimidating. There was a lot of illegal behaviour from festival attendees. If there were other issues arising, for example in the local minimarkets, Police would not be able to respond as it would paralyse their resources. It was understood that more experienced security personnel would be used this year, but residents had concerns about the balance of risk and about the Council’s philosophy in respect of events management: that the onus was on the operator and SAG was only advisory. The risks of something going wrong were unacceptable, and it should not be the approach to hold the operator accountable.

c.    Councillor Alessandro Georgiou (IP11) was also speaking on behalf of IP2. The holding of events in Trent Park such as Cancer Race for Life, Ghana Festival, etc was not objected to, but larger festivals such as ELROW and 51st State were too big for Cockfosters to withstand. Cockfosters Station was a small, suburban station and had seen disruption on the platforms on the previous occasion involving verbal abuse and intimidation. Cockfosters with its largely older population had suffered anti-social behaviour during the previous event including noise, public urination, drugs and alcohol abuse, and there were fears this would be repeated. The bond for damage to the park was also correlated in respect of drugs and inappropriate paraphernalia in Trent Park. There had not been enough Police last time and would not be enough this year. With the way Trent Park was structured and its entry and exit points, crowd densities could not be controlled and dispersed appropriately even with a soft closure. This application should be rejected as it did no good for the people of Cockfosters.

d.    Councillor Alessandro Georgiou referred to the event having already been advertised. The Legal Services representative advised this was not pre-determination as the decision would be based on written representations and oral representations at the hearing. Mad Husky Events Limited took the risk on advertising prior to any decision.

e.    In summary on behalf of residents it was advised that this event was inappropriate and overwhelming for this area. There would be bottlenecks at the exit point and too many people on one road. The park was not built for such a situation and could not cope. Objectors were not against the use of Trent Park for events, but it should be used for family and community oriented events.


5.    For clarification in respect of points raised it was advised by the applicant’s representatives that the applicant had paid for policing provision as advised by the Police as fully adequate, having been involved with the festival for the previous four years. There had been debriefing involving the Police after each previous event and nothing of significance had been raised by them.


6.    A further response from objectors that if the applicant wanted to allay residents’ concerns they could hire more Police. Residents understood that the Police were under-resourced and would only offer what they felt could be offered. Concentration would be on managing the station as the major area of friction, but a blind eye turned to petty crime.


7.    The closing statement of Ellie Green, Principal Licensing Officer. Having heard representations from all parties it was for the Licensing Sub-Committee to consider whether the application was appropriate and in support of the licensing objectives. Members’ attention was drawn to the relevant law, guidance and policies as set out in the report.


8.    The summary statement on behalf of objectors that the operator should consider scaling back the event to previous levels, as the proposed crowd would be too big, and the risks were not properly managed.


9.    The summary statement on behalf of the applicant that a desktop exercise had been held yesterday with an independent reviewer who had experience of policing large festivals. The Police were not making objections and they were best placed to understand the issues, and they knew the event. There would be an experienced security team in place. The operator had gone over and above what was required. The event had improved every year, and the operator was proactive in working with parties and was confident in dealing with the numbers expected. Measures would be put in place to uphold the licensing objectives, and the planning had been done for a successful event.


10.  The wording of the proposed additional condition was clarified with parties before the close of the hearing.




1.         In accordance with the principles of Section 100(a) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the press and public from the meeting for this item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.


The Panel retired, with the legal representative and committee administrator, to consider the application further and then the meeting reconvened in public.


2.         The Chairman made the following statement:


“As the Licensing Sub-Committee we have deliberated on the objections, supporting representations, and the applicant’s statements. Both written and oral representations have been taken with equal weight.


The Licensing Sub-Committee has therefore decided to grant the application for the new premises licence for Mad Husky Events Limited (51st State Festival) subject to the amended conditions agreed and one additional condition.


The Licensing Sub-Committee will grant the licence indefinitely, in line with the ruling of the case of “AEG Presents Limited v London Borough of Tower Hamlets”. Given this case, I or anyone else does not have the power to apply a time limited licence when the applicant sought an indefinite licence. If the sub-committee was satisfied that the conditions, times and activities were suitable for one year they should be strong enough to grant the licence for any period of time – the test was the same, regardless of the length of period of a licence. There is a review process if required for this.”


3.         The Licensing Sub-Committee RESOLVED that the application be GRANTED IN FULL as follows:


(i)           The maximum capacity at any one time is 17,500.


(ii)          The licensable activities and times are:






Hours the premises are open to the public

11:00 – 22:30

11:00 – 21:30

Supply of alcohol (on supplies only)

11:00 – 21:45

11:00 – 20:45

Live music (indoor and outdoor)

11:00 – 22:00

11:00 – 21:00

Recorded music (indoor and outdoor)

11:00 – 22:00

11:00 – 21:00

Performance of Dance (indoor and outdoor)

11:00 – 22:00

11:00 – 21:00

Films (indoor and outdoor)

11:00 – 22:00

11:00 – 21:00

Anything else of a similar description (indoor and outdoor)

11:00 – 22:00

11:00 – 21:00


Conditions (in accordance with Conditions in LSC Report – Annex 9)


(iii)       Conditions 1 to 19, which are not disputed;


(iv)      AND Condition attached after hearing by the Licensing Authority


That the applicant manages the egress and the prevention of anti-social behaviour ensuring at all residential roads within the hard road close for the event the presence of 1 Chapter 8, 1 marshal and 1 security officer.

Supporting documents: