The Howard Davis Park charity film festival has been pulled just days before its first screening due to a lack of sufficient policing.
The annual Film Festival has missed out on its 25th consecutive year because there’s “not enough Police to go around” in order to ensure it goes ahead safely, organiser Deputy Kevin Lewis said.
He told Express that they’ve “sadly” had to cancel the charity festival due to difficulties securing permits for what has become a very well-attended event.
Pictured: The festival normally takes place in Howard Davis Park.
The line-up for this year’s festival had already been announced, with ‘Dumbo’, ‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ and the live-action remake of Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ all due to play in Howard Davis Park.
The event was set to raise funds for Durrell, Brighter Futures, Beresford Street Kitchen, Jersey Hospice, the NSPCC and Autism Jersey.
Deputy Lewis explained: “Because we’re now a larger event we need many more Police on duty which are not available because there’s so many events on at the same time that there’s not enough Honorary Police and so sadly we’ve had to cancel.”
Last year, one film was attended by over 7,000 people and there were particular safety concerns about this number of people spilling out of the park onto the road after the screening.
The organiser said that they have been “going backwards and forwards” and “jumping through hoops” with the Entertainment Advisory Panel in order to secure the relevant permits, “but sadly it wasn’t enough.”
However, the Deputy is hopeful that the festival will return next year – perhaps in a different form.
“Basically we have to rethink the film festival entirely because we need a different kind of set up,” he said.
He added that he is “extremely disappointed” about having to cancel the event, saying: “It is a calendar event… It was very, very disappointing to have to pull the plug, but obviously health and safety is paramount.”
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