Shropshire Star

Residents fear Ludlow could become 'Glastonbury meets Disneyworld' with castle events schedule

A group of Ludlow residents say the town is in danger of being turned into a 'combination of Glastonbury and Disneyworld' by a series of events planned for 2024.

Crowds at the castle last summer. Photo: Dave Cox

Objectors at the meeting of Ludlow Town Council, held on Monday, voiced their opposition to a licensing application for eight live music events set to be held at Ludlow Castle in 2024.

Organisers Futuresound had originally applied for a licence for 15 events, but scaled their plans back this week after an objection from Shropshire Council’s public protection team.

The company hosted four events at the castle earlier this year, which saw national headline acts such as Bastille, Kaiser Chiefs and Nile Rodgers come to south Shropshire along with around 20,000 visitors.

Addressing the meeting during public questions, John Cartwright, chair of the Ludlow Civic Society said the 2023 events had caused problems with anti-social behaviour and accused organisers of exploiting the town for its picturesque setting.

“The [Ludlow Civic] society fundamentally opposes the application for 15 events,” he told the meeting.

“There’s a risk of turning Ludlow into a combination of Glastonbury and Disneyworld – Ludlow is being grossly exploited. We would say to Shropshire Council from our experience that the maximum number of events should be four.”

Other concerns raised included the levels of disruption caused during the setting up and breaking down of the events, and the levels of pollution caused by trucks rolling through the town on their way to the venue.

The application will now be decided by Shropshire Council, with the authority inviting comments of support or objection by Thursday, December 21.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the meeting, county Councillor for Ludlow North Andy Boddington said he was listening to the views of local residents before making up his mind on the application.

“I would have ideally liked to to be less than eight but I think eight is a reasonable compromise. I’m waiting to hear the views of residents and others.

“Across the town I would say the majority of people would be in favour of 15 events, but those people might not be aware of all the consequences.

“You have to set up the event, and then you have to take it down, and it’s extensive and that’s going to have a hit on the traditional economy of the town. I’ve got mixed views and I’m in listening mode before submitting my final comments.”