DEREK PATERSON (Letters, January 19) is right to be concerned about the proposed use of Rawcliffe Country Park for the Galtres Festival, but not simply for the reasons stated. The music can just about be tolerated for the duration.

The festival originated as a small event, held behind the local pub in Crayke; subsequent venues have been Sutton Park and latterly adjacent to the village of Crayke.

Although billed as a three-day event, it can in reality take up to a month to set up and dismantle. The inconvenience and congestion was a cause for concern.

One resident was detained for almost an hour in traffic while trying to drive her husband to hospital.

Another year the local GP was denied vehicular access to the village, having to take a very long route to see a patient.

Wherever it takes place it is unlikely to be welcomed by most residents. The festival requires a considerable amount of space, a good road network, which, to my mind, does not equate with York outer ring road on a Bank Holiday weekend.

Catherine Porter, Crayke, York.


• I TOTALLY agree with the comments of Derek Paterson. Although I live in Clifton Without, there is no doubt that the impact of this festival could cover this parish as well as Rawcliffe, Skelton and Poppleton. In particular A music licence until 2am each day An alcohol licence (for a family event?) until 23.59 each day An event which 7,000 people are expected to attend each but no firm details on where overnight campers are to stay Shortage of car park facilities – the overflow from Rawcliffe P&R going to Rawcliffe and Clifton Without streets.

It also concerns me that, yet again, the leader of City of York Council has already decided that this festival is “good for York” and is trying to smooth the way for it to occur. It has already been agreed that the Rawcliffe P&R service (sponsored by the council) will operate until 2.30am each day. If it is that good then why not hold it in his constituency?

Neil Raw, Oriel Grove, Clifton Without, York.


• DEREK PATERSON (Letters, January 19) fears damage to Rawcliffe Country Park and noise disturbance if Galtres Festival takes place there in August.

These are natural concerns. However, our plans for the event, which will accompany our licence application, benefit from the lessons learned from Kaboom, and also from talking to community groups and parish councils and responding to concerns.

Acceptable noise levels will be agreed in advance with City of York Council. Through sophisticated sound projection techniques we will ensure the agreed levels are never exceeded.

Protecting the park is also a key part of our plans. The surface damage evident after Kaboom was caused by production vehicles before the event which moved onto the park before the trackway had been laid. That won’t be allowed to happen at Galtres Festival.

We are also working with the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows and with York Natural Environment Trust to ensure the surrounding area is respected and protected.

What we find most disappointing is that Rawcliffe parish council opposed the festival licence application before parish councillors and the public had the opportunity to find out about and debate the proposals.

By contrast we have received huge support from people who live near to Rawcliffe Country Park who are excited about the possibility of such a well-run and enjoyable event taking place in such a convenient location.

James Houston, Galtres Festival director.