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Beef Of The Week #415: Sheep v Another World Festival

By | Published on Friday 3 August 2018

A dance music festival due to take place near Bristol this weekend has been postponed until next year. And in what is almost certainly an original excuse for postponement, the decision to call of this weekend’s Another World Festival is being blamed on sheep shit.

Organisers said in a statement earlier this week: “During our final site inspection as we began building the festival our health and safety team informed us of the distressing presence of sheep faeces on all fields … planned for use for Another World festival, and that in fact there are livestock still present”.

It then added: “There is strict [Health & Safety Executive] guidance regarding sheep waste and the responsibility of the farm owner when allowing public to enter their property. Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli are pathogens that can be passed through sheep faeces … parasites, roundworms and tapeworms are also linked to fresh, faeces that has not degraded”.

Adding that “these are very real dangers that cannot be ignored”, the organisers then confirmed that they were postponing the whole event until sometime next year.

Needless to say, a flurry of angry ticket-buyers were quickly posting on the social networks, all pissed off at the last minute cancellation and the somewhat vague messaging around refunds. Many were also unconvinced by the shitty excuse. It didn’t help that a site manager at the farm due to host the festival disputed the official line.

He told Bristol Live: “Some sheep managed get on the site as they sometimes do and they did leave a few droppings, but we have ten or fifteen other fields here where there are no droppings whatsoever where the festival could have easily taken place instead. In fact, I was even prepared to get a team out there to clear the droppings so it could have gone ahead, that wouldn’t have been a problem at all”.

He went on: “I called the organisers around half a dozen times to let them know this but they didn’t pick up. Then later on I got an email from them letting me know they’d pulled the plug altogether. To be honest I think the main problem for the organisers was the fact DJs were pulling out, not the presence of sheep droppings”.

He concluded: “It’s hugely frustrating for us and of course for everyone who was planning to go. We have put a lot of time and effort into this and stand to lose a fair bit of money, not to mention we could easily have hosted another event this weekend. I just hope everyone who bought tickets gets refunded”.

Said site manager added that only 2500 of the event’s 7000 tickets had been sold, suggesting that financial issues might have been behind those reports that some DJs were pulling out. However, in a new post on Facebook yesterday, the festival’s promoters insisted the postponement was definitely the result of health and safety concerns.

They said “we strongly refute claims by reports in the media stating that the festival is a scam. The assessment from our operations / health and safety team, confirmed by the farm manager, [was] that the fields planned for use by the festival were not safe for the public. We want to reassure you [that], despite our best efforts, we could not find a safe, workable solution to this”.

Organisers added that, despite plans to reschedule, they were “working towards being able to offer refunds for those not wanting to, or able, to join us [at the rescheduled event]”. Having elsewhere noted the personal abuse organisers had been receiving online since the postponement had been announced, they concluded “we would like to thank you for your understanding while we look at providing a quick and easy way for refunds to take place”.

Whether refunds are forthcoming, and whether Another World can live on another day, remains to be seen. But in the meantime, sheep join osprey in leading the animal kingdom’s charge against the inconvenience that is human begins having parties in fields.