The organisers of an Oktoberfest event in Lichfield say they have been forced to cancel the event.

A previous Oktoberfest event

It had been due to take place from 14th to 16th October, but Cocker Hoop Creative which runs the event said it had been refused a licence by Lichfield District Council.

In a statement, they said they were disappointed to have to pull the plug the event at such short notice.

“Following Lichfield District Council’s licensing department receiving three objections for the forthcoming Oktoberfest – including one from a member of their own team – about noise levels, the council have decided to refuse us the required licence.

“This news for us is devastating, especially as it is not the first time the event has run.

“Not being allowed a premises licence means we can have a lovely marquee up, we can put benches out, set up a stage and lighting but we are not allowed to sell any alcoholic drinks or have any bands entertain people – this isn’t a Lichfield Oktoberfest in our eyes.

“At every point we have answered every question raised by the objectors, employed industry experts in noise consultancy and licensing specialists. We have even offered to meet with the objectors to discuss the measures we have in place and show that the event would be well managed.

“We understand that people have the divine right to object but to not want to listen, reply to emails and refuse to meet, we struggle to understand.

“To derail hard work that has been carried out by everyone connected and to remove much-needed income after the Covid pandemic is unacceptable.”

Cocker Hoop Creative spokesperson

The company – which also organises events such as the Ibiza Proms and Lichfield Food Festival – said it was likely to take a significant financial hit due to the cancellation.

“The team are truly broken by this decision, as are the local breweries and businesses affected – this would have generated in excess of £45,000 worth of much-needed revenue for them.

“As a local event business still operating in uncertain times, we feel we need to express our disappointment at various departments and will be consulting with the Local Government Ombudsman.

“We have already paid tens of thousands of pounds out for this weekend to contractors with no prospect of refunds as business now require 100% payment up front due to Covid.

“For us, that is crippling.”

Cocker Hoop Creative spokesperson

“Turbulent time”

Ticket holders have been told they will be given the option to get a refund or have their ticket carry over to the 2022 event.

The company said it had already sourced an alternative location to ensure the event can take place next year.

“After much discussion we have agreed in 2022 to put the Oktoberfest on at the sports club on Eastern Avenue.

“We would ask people to understand the predicament we have found ourselves in and support us as we move forward from this turbulent time.”

Cocker Hoop Creative spokesperson

Gareth Davies, head of regulatory services, housing and wellbeing at Lichfield District Council, denied that the local authority had forced the cancellation of the event.

“We have not refused the application for Lichfield Oktoberfest. 

“As a result of objections raised during the 28-day consultation period for this event, we are legally required to hold a hearing of the Licensing and Consents Appeals Committee to consider the objections, and must give ten days’ notice of this hearing.

“We advise event organisers to allow at least three months when making an application to allow for any objections to be properly heard and resolved under these prescribed timescales.

“As we received the event licence application so late, there is now not enough time to give the required ten days’ notice of a hearing before Oktoberfest was due to take place.

“We understand ticket holders will be disappointed and share their frustrations that this event has had to be cancelled by the organiser.”

Gareth Davies, Lichfield District Council

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13 Comments

  1. Lichfield Council are an absolute waste of time. Rotten all the way through, they are ruining this city. The planning team are an embarrassment hence all the staff leaving in droves, leaving junior members who haven’t got a clue to decide on the future of this beautiful city. Then there is the team that looks after these events. You want to promote tourism and support local business and you do this for 3 poxy objections when you have a population probably 40k+. To the councillor who objected you clearly are are very sad individual. The country has seen enough in the last 18 months and to put community spirit and support local businesses really doesn’t hurt does it for a few hours of entertainment over 4 days. Pathetic excuse of a council. Garage Davies…grow a pair!!

  2. Would Mr Davies like to comment why a member of his team placed an objection on Friday night having known full well about this activity for at least the last 21 days and knowing full well that we would not have any time to comment and answer on the objection?

    In addition to this why has there been no SAG meetings been held for ANY events in the City for 2021, especially as this is a stipulation in the Festivals and Events Policy – If a SAG meeting had been held this would have been discussed as in previous years?

    I remember saying to you during the pandemic Mr Davies that we should use the pandemic as the perfect reason for creating a better way of working, working smarter and for the benefit of events and festivals and you agreed to this comment – This seems to have been forgotten!

    Delivery timescales may have been tight but we are still in uncertain times (despite your officer offering a different perspective on the pandemic, and things being back to normal!)

    I look forward to hearing from you Mr Davies and as always i’m always available to meet and discuss further with you with my Team.

  3. I’m not surprised after the shambles the same organisers ‘organised’ in early September. If Ibiza Proms was anything to go by, ticket holders for this have dodged a bullet.

  4. Regardless of issues with council process, the overarching problem here seems to be that the organiser Cocker Hoop have not allowed enough time in their plans to allow for a worst case scenario in license applications. This is a blunder that sounds like it was in the power of the organiser to avoid should they have planned appropriately.
    It’s a shame that local businesses, breweries, and the local people who were due to attend have been let down by this.
    Given the appalling organisation and overwhelmingly negative response of the Classic Ibiza event last month by the same organiser, it would seem Cocker Hoop needs to take a step back and assess their internal processes, as something clearly isn’t working.

  5. Wow! Just for once Mr Fabricant and/or Brexit have not been blamed for a certain situation occuring! Not yet anyway.

  6. I absolutely agree with the above, Cocker Hoop are clearly not fit for purpose based on the fiasco attached to previous events.
    The law relating to event application processes is very clear and any professional event organiser will respect that, no one is above the law. I fully support LDC in their stance as it is not fair on either elected members or officers of the council if irresponsible event organisers completely ignore application timelines. This places everyone into a very difficult position.
    I respectfully suggest Cocker Hoop management stop blaming everyone else and take stock of their processes, and indeed whether they are in fact qualified to embark on organising such large scale public events.

  7. Good morning ‘Here we go again Cocker Hoop Creative’ & ‘Lichfield onlooker’

    As the Managing Director of Cocker Hoop Creative I would love the opportunity to discuss your comments with your further .

    If you would like to email me your phone number to jon@cockerhoopcreative.com this would be helpful in moving forward – alternatively please come and meet me.

    Kind regards

    Jon

  8. How sad that Lichfield has come to this, a little clever planning when to object and three people can stop what could have been a wonderful event. The proms are very noisy, and also boozy but with one difference, not so attractive to the young! Shame on you. Incidentally I am of retirement age.

  9. Well after the utter farce that was the Ibiza Proms it’s hardly a surprise that cocker hoop ballsed up again. They really amcome across as last minute Larry’s.

    And after they refused people refunds to ibiza proms they tried to palm them off with free oktoberfest tickets. And now that’s been cancelled too. It really is laughable.

    What a bloody shambles.

  10. Mr Arrowsmith,
    Here we go again Cocker Hoop Creative’ & ‘Lichfield onlooker’
    Well I speak for at least one of us, here we go again indeed is exactly because as the event organiser, quite simply, YOU are responsible.
    Sitting down and talking to us is not what is required as we do not organise the events, YOU DO!
    If you can’t do it properly, don’t do it at all.
    Event management is a craft, that’s why people study at university for 3 years or more to hone their creative visions and expertise into presenting something which doesn’t run into contractual issues, doesn’t fall foul of local authority guidelines and rules, and doesn’t cause public controversy to this ludicrous level.
    Please stand aside and allow professional event organisers into the city……that is of course if they will come now as you’ve not exactly painted a rosy picture for them!

  11. LO Got to be said if you can’t argue using your own name and refusing to meet someone to discuss their POV when they’ve tried to discuss it’s a cryin shame

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