Cranfest 2019 cancelled Photo by Aranxa Esteve on Unsplash:

Police told club that it could not be held under club’s licence

Over the weekend it was announced that this year’s Cranfest has been cancelled. The event had been running for eight years, but the organisers said this time the police had refused a licence

A spokesperson for Bedfordshire Police said that earlier last month it was made aware, through the Safety Advisory Group (SAG), that Cranfield United Football Club was due to host ‘Cranfest’ on 13 July. They said that the event had not previously engaged with Bedfordshire Police’s Licensing Team or a SAG. They added:

“Cranfield United FC holds a club premises certificate, meaning they carry out licensable activity as a members club.

“However it means that they can only provide licensable activities (for example, the sale of alcohol and provision of regulated entertainment) to members or their guests.”

Officers from the licensing team told the organisers that as Cranfest is a public event, where anyone can buy tickets and come along, it could not be held under their current club licence.

It’s not possible for the public to be signed in as guests because this falls outside legislation and Licensing Act guidance.

The licensing officers gave two options which would have allowed the club to hold the event:

  • Apply for a premises licence, which would allow the public to attend the event without having to be members. This process would take around 28 days once an application was made through the local authority. To progress this, the club would need to nominate a personal licence holder in order to sell alcohol
  • Apply for a temporary event notice (TEN). This would allow the club to hold an event as this licence would sit on top of their current club premises certificate. However, a TEN only allows 499 people to be present at an event

“Our Licensing Team is responsible for upholding and enforcing the law around licensing. The advice the team gave to the club also protected them from carrying out unauthorised licensable activity which would have put their club premises certificate at risk.”

Katy Griffiths, one of the event organisers, said:

“We contact the police every year and have even requested a police presence before. The premises licence means somebody needs to go on the personal licence course and unfortunately there isn’t the funds to reapply as the club has already lost money applying first time round.”

When asked if an outside event company might be able to take over Katy said that due to the nature of the event a vast majority of it had already been cancelled.