Fan party organisers to seek compensation

IPSWICH: Organisers of the axed World Cup fan festival have spoken out against an unpopular decision by police to cancel the Chantry Park event.

GroupING Events said it was “very disappointed” at news of the cancellation after the company put together the Ipswich World Cup & Music Festival, which was due to feature live music and a giant screen showing England’s group stage games in South Africa. And the company called for the council to reimburse all stakeholders in the event.

Meanwhile, The Evening Star continues to receive messages of frustration from disgruntled England fans who were looking forward to the event.

The festival was due to kick off on June 12 – the night England’s first Group C encounter against the USA – and would have provided entertainment for up to 20,000 people.

But concerns over the level of alcohol intake and the highly charged atmosphere fuelled by such a large crowd, led Suffolk Constabulary to not sanction the event going ahead.

Plans were also being put in place for the games against Algeria on June 18 and Slovenia on June 23 to be shown at Chantry Park. However, police believed the potential for violent disorder and anti-social behaviour was too great.

Facilitation director for GroupING Events, Rio Kader, said: “We are very disappointed that the festival has been cancelled at such short notice.

Most Read

“We are very disappointed that the police did not express their concerns in the numerous meetings we had with them and that such a great festival will now no longer go ahead.”

Mr Kader said GroupING Events provided police with a database of ticket holders to ensure that any potential trouble makers could be identified and either monitored or excluded from the event. He said: “We are surprised that the police are apparently now not satisfied with the measures taken by the council upon their advice to deal with any potential security issues raised.”

Mr Kader added that the company would be asking Ipswich Borough Council to compensate any losses incurred as a result of the cancellation. He said: “We very much hope that, with the council’s cooperation, and in addition to reimbursing all those who have already purchased tickets, the other bodies who have spent money in good faith on the project will be compensated.”

The Evening Star has been deluged by messages from disheartened fans since we broke news of the cancellation earlier this week.

One supporter, Richard Procter, said: “The police should not let down 20,000 law abiding locals that want to enjoy the day, for a few. What a shame.”

Salli Giner wrote: “It would be no different from drinking in a pub garden. I can understand about safety but just put on the security they would use for town and pubs on the park.

“It would have been a lovely day out for the England fans and families, as not all pubs will allow children in.”

n Were you due to attend the fan festival? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail