STATEMENT: Penrith May Day parade reports

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“We can categorically state that there is absolutely no ban on bands taking part in this year’s May Day celebrations in Penrith and Westmorland and Furness Council is not enforcing noise limits that will prevent bands from taking part.

“As with all large organised events and in line with national guidance and legal requirements, the council routinely liaises with event organisers to ensure measures such as appropriate health and safety, food hygiene standards, public liability insurances and any required road closures are in place to protect both the public and the event organisers.

“This includes discussions about noise levels and basic information and advice, such as asking organisers to consider the location of any static positions of bands or stages where bands may be performing for prolonged periods, so performances do not cause undue disturbance to nearby residents. All we advise is that organisers planning any static band positions or stages consider consulting nearby residents as a courtesy and to check noise levels in those locations.

“To be clear though, this does not apply to carnival or drumming bands in processions or parades. Drumming in a parade is not, and has never been, an issue and the council has never ‘banned’ any band from taking part in any parade.

“The council has today (23 February) contacted both Penrith Lions and BlueJam Arts (BJamba) named in the report to discuss the issue and to reassure them about the council’s position and advice.

“Neither the Lions nor BlueJam Arts were involved in the news article and coverage. The Lions are very much looking forward to the May Day event and are in discussion with BlueJam Arts about their involvement.

“It is also regrettable that the council was not approached for comment or response until after the article had been published online and on social media this week, so we were not offered an opportunity to correct the record before the article was published, resulting in the understandable, and avoidable, alarm, distress and upset felt by the local community.''