Worksop: “No alcohol” policy sparks festival fury

A previous Flashback Festival at Clumber Park
A previous Flashback Festival at Clumber Park

The organisers of a popular Worksop music festival have hit back at claims they are attempting to “deceive the public” after coming under fire for implementing a new no alcohol policy.

The Flashback Festival, an 80s themed concert which has been held at Clumber Park for the last six years, has grown in popularity thanks to a bring your own boozescheme, making it a more “affordable” event for drinkers.

But the location of the festival was recently transferred to Thoresby Estate and a “no alcohol” policy was then imposed, prompting a handful of outraged comments from loyal festival-goers on the event’s Facebook page.

One Worksop woman, Lynn Sargent, said the new policy had not been made clear, and people were therefore being “deceived” when purchasing tickets.

She said: “As far as I am concerned the organisers are deliberately withholding this information so that we will continue to purchase tickets.

“I have no doubt that this information will be publicised before the event but at that stage it may be too late as tickets will have been bought, travel arrangements will have been made and, if this information go unnoticed at such a late stage, any alcoholic refreshments purchased will be confiscated at the gate.”

Neil Butkeraitis, festival promoter, said he was “very disappointed” to hear these claims. He added: “It is ludicrous to suggest that this decision, which I have made as a responsible promoter, is about money- when it is solely about the safety of our visitors.

“I have been proud to watch the festival grow. It’s a fantastic event which is enjoyed by many and truly benefits the Worksop economy.

“But we have had to make some difficult decisions in order to combat binge drinking and public disorder which have unfortunately occured in the past.”

Neil went on: “Our policy on alcohol is clearly marked on the information section of our website.

“Visitors are free to purchase alcohol at bars in the concert arena, for which we have had to employ additional staff.

“By doing this we fall in line with the code of practice for festivals up and down the country.”

But some visitors still were not happy with the decision.

Debbie Louise Baker said: “They are trying to make it like V Festival by charging for drinks.

“This was the reason I kept returning to Flashback, due to affordability.”

David Good branded the move a “major own goal”.

But John Drabble said: “You are the ones who will be missing out. We are still attending and it will be a fab night.”