Statement from organisers 12th October:
Good afternoon everyone
I want to apologise for the lateness in sending out this communication, please understand that we have been trying everything in our capacity and powers to avoid having to deliver this outcome to you.
Following Lichfield District Licensing Department receiving three objections with regard to the application for our premises licence for the forthcoming Lichfield Oktoberfest (including one objection from a member of their team), about noise levels – The Council have decided to refuse us this required licence – this news for us, both as a business and personally is devastating especially, as its not the first time the event has been run.
You can imagine the front page of the Daily Mail now….’Lichfield, the City of Winter Wonderland does it again!’ Not being allowed a premises licence means in essence we can have a lovely marquee up, we can put the benches out, set up a lovely stage and drape beautiful lights around it…..But we are not allowed to sell any alcoholic drinks or have any bands entertain you – This isn’t a Lichfield Oktoberfest in our eyes!
My team and myself are truly broken by this decision, as are the local breweries and businesses affected – this would have generated in excess of £45,000 worth of much needed revenue for them.
At every point we have answered every question raised by the objectors, employed industry experts in noise consultantancy and licensing specialists and even offered to meet with the objectors, discuss what measures we have in place and also show that this event, now in its fourth year, would be a successful, well managed event and one that would support the night time activity in the City – but all of this is to no avail. I understand that people have the divine right to object, but to not want to listen, reply to emails and refuse to meet, I struggle to understand. To derail hard work that has been carried out by everyone connected and to remove much needed income after the Covid pandemic I feel is unacceptable.
Rant aside most Importantly for you – What does this means to ticket holders for Oktoberfest 2021?
After much discussion we have this morning agreed in 2022 to put on the Oktoberfest at the Sports Club on Eastern Avenue (As they are also affected by the pandemic and need funds) and we are able to carry the activity without objection – The dates for your diary are 13th – 15th October 2022
Skiddle Ticket Holders – will receive a full refund via Skiddle or can carry this over to 2022.
2019 ticket holders – Are able to transfer to 2022 or please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your account details and we will make the necessary refund.
2021 Ibiza Proms ticket holders who were offered a free ticket, will receive a free ticket to next years Oktoberfest weekend.
As a local event business, still operating in uncertain times, (Despite being told by the officer connected that ‘For events Covid is over and everything is back to normal’) we feel we need to express our disappointment against various departments and will be consulting with the Local Government Ombudsman for their advice and support. I have however, had a very constructive conversation with the new CEO of Lichfield District Council this morning and we will see the outcomes of this chat and future correspondence, as this is the third event this year that we have been forced to cancel by the councils actions, comments and threats, which comes at a substantial cost to my business.
We have already paid tens of thousands of pounds out for this weekend to contractors with no prospect of refunds as businesses now require 100% payment upfront due to Covid and for us that is crippling.
Once again we also feel so much for local businesses such as The Angel, logistics teams and the local night time economy that will now not benefit, this is what our events are about supporting one another – for that we are sorry!
I would just ask that you understand the predicament we find ourselves in and support us as we move forward over this turbulent time.