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Unfortunately we have been forced to cancel the 2018 Festival.
A piece of long-standing legislation (that has never before been considered to affect festivals and the like) has recently been re-interpreted by some Local Authorities as applying to us. This involves applying for ‘Child Performance Licences’ for every participant in our festival, which brings an administrative burden we cannot practically undertake.
We (the Festival Committee) have what we regard as reliable advice that this should not apply to us, but in the interests of good governance, asked for confirmation that this is indeed the case.
The Officer responsible for our Local Authority (Devon County Council) has made an interpretation that the legislation does apply to us, and threatened us with legal action if we go ahead with the festival without obtaining Child Performance Licences.
They did offer us a simpler, streamlined system, but even this we felt posed too many potential difficulties to be practicable.
We have therefore decided, reluctantly, that we must cancel the 2018 Festival, and hope that the issue can be successfully resolved in time for 2019.