Mount View music festival decision deferred

A decision on the proposed three-day music festival at Mount View has been deferred until the next Cessnock City Council meeting.

Mount View resident Simone Spence spoke on behalf of local landholders who do not want the SASH Sleepout festival at Cedars Mount View to go ahead.

Mrs. Spence said the residents were concerned about the noise, security and safety, and traffic on the narrow, unsealed roads.

“We wish for our area to stay quiet, peaceful and tranquil,” she said.

“We want assurances that people ejected from the venue will not be left to roam the mountain.”

Environmental planner Garry Warnes spoke for the proponent, saying the event would help boost the Hunter Valley’s tourist numbers in the 25-35-year-old demographic.

He said that the event is not a ‘rave party’ as had been suggested, and that many safety and security procedures will be in place.

Mr. Warnes said the event will have a positive flow-on effect for local businesses.

Mrs. Spence later disputed this, saying she thinks concertgoers are not likely to leave the isolated venue.

She said if council is serious about attracting an event like this, it should be held at a tested venue like Cessnock Showground, Hope Estate or Bimbadgen Estate.

As is standard council meeting procedure, council defers any items that a speaker addresses on the night.

Cr. Allan Stapleford moved that council vote on the motion that night, but failed to gain the two-thirds majority to move the vote forward.

Council officers had recommended approval for the festival, which was set down for May 23 to 25.

Mr. Warnes said the proponent will seek to move the event to September 19 to 21 if approved.

The motion will come back to council on April 16.

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