Rowdiness fear halts plans for pop concert
PLANS to stage a Tour of Britain pop concert amid police fears of anti-social behaviour have been dropped.
The Brixham based rocking folk band Mad Dog McCrea had been earmarked to play on Dartmouth's bandstand the night before the huge cycle race roadshow is due to arrive in in town on Saturday, September 15.
The aim of the concert was to encourage some of the thousands of visitors expected to flood into the town for the cycle race to come early and help further boost the town's economy.
But now there are no events planned for the day before the Westcountry leg of the Tour of Britain race finishes on Dartmouth Embankment – bringing with it the UK's top Olympic cycling heroes Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.
The decision has disappointed organisers and business forum chairman Paul Reach – who are trying to ensure the town makes the most out of internationally important event.
But Sgt Iain Simons pointed out there would have been no way to control the numbers attending the free, open-air event.
He said there had been concerns about possible 'anti -social behaviour', particularly as the area was due to be taken over by the cycle race organisers at 4am the next morning.
He said that it had been felt that a mixture and music and alcohol was not 'appropriate' and added: 'Any issues of disruption around the bandstand would have gone against showcasing Dartmouth in its best light.'
He also said that police had suggested the concert could have been turned into a proms-style music event or that Mad Dog McCrea could have played the concert in the market square instead – where crowds would have been controllable or even ticketing would have been feasible.
'An alternative venue was discussed and also an option of more a night of proms with that atmosphere was discussed but they have chosen to cancel the event,' Sgt Simons added.
Pam Brackenburg, who is a member of the steering group set up to organise town events to run alongside the cycle race visit, was organising the concert.
Pam said: 'It is a huge disappointment. I think it would have made a well-rounded weekend and now it will just be the Saturday.
'The whole idea was to bring more people in for the weekend who would stay overnight.'
She said police were concerned that there 'might be trouble' at the concert and added; 'They said they were not happy for the concert to go ahead on the bandstand.'
She said it had been suggested that it go ahead in the market instead but that was impossible because a continental market was booked in for the Saturday.
She said that Mad Dog MacCrea had appeared as part of the Dart Music Festival on a number of occasions.
'There has never been any trouble at their concerts in Dartmouth,' she said.
Business forum chairman Paul Reach said he understood the concerns were that the concert might 'attract unsavoury characters'.
He added: 'We are naturally disappointed that there will now be nothing to draw people in ahead of the cycle race.
The concert was to lay on entertainment for the people who were already coming for the event. It's not usually known for cyclists to be drunken layabouts.'
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