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Barnstorming party 'not a rave'

PUBLISHED: 23:53 20 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:30 03 March 2010

IT'S not a rave - it's farm diversification.

That was the message from farmer's son and business student Mark Wrinch who has defended a music event he has organised in two barns at a Shotley farm.

IT'S not a rave – it's farm diversification.

That was the message from farmer's son and business student Mark Wrinch who has defended a music event he has organised in two barns at a Shotley farm.

The 23-year-old has applied for an entertainments licence for Saturday, August 31, at his father Richard's farm in Wades Lane, in an area of natural beauty close to the River Orwell.

If the licence is granted one of two barns, built between the mid-1700s and mid-1800s, will contain DJs playing hard house music, while in the other the selection will be drum 'n bass.

But Mark, a graduate who studied business and commerce at Birmingham University, argued that the event, which he described as a club night, was one of the very few possibilities for diversification for farmers with redundant barns.

The idea for the event developed after he had his 21st birthday party in one of the barns, then the following year held another free party, which attracted about 500 people.

He said he had spent a year in Birmingham working on a project about farm diversification and had been unable to find other options for redundant barns besides converting them into homes or holiday accommodation.

He has the backing of his father, Richard Wrinch, for staging the event and has been in close consultation with the police and with Babergh District Council's environmental health department to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Mark said the club night would be an all-ticket affair with tickets sold in advance. Use of drugs would be discouraged and anyone found selling drugs would be immediately reported to the police. Nightclub bouncers had been engaged to ensure order.

The police would visit twice on the night and the fire service would be checking the premises on the night before.

On advice from the fire service the maximum number of revellers had been set at 560.

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