Party pooper he ain’t! But Priory Park festival chief Robin Bextor reassures residents over disruption

Robin Bextor

Priory Park festival chief Robin Bextor likes a party as much as the next hip-swivelling showman. But ever mindful of the impact this summer’s jamboree will have on residents close to the festivities, he had pledged to pull the plug on excessive disruption.

Mr Bextor has written to around 100 residents to detail plans in the run-up to this three-day shindig in July, a repeat of action festival organisers took last year ahead of the inaugural event. And people have been assured that strict curfews in place will be be adhered to so as to minimise the disruption to every day lives of those nearby.

The Priory Park Festival, part of the Festival of Chichester, will welcome a multitude of different musical artists and bands to the city centre park on 7,8 & 9 July. Headliners such as Tony Christie, The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell, S Club, Dodgy, Georgie Fame, Deborah Bonham and The Christians are lined up to the delight of festival-goers.

In his letter festival director Mr Bextor reassures locals that noise, litter and behaviour will be properly monitored and managed, and also includes contact details, giving people an opportunity to voice any concerns. He also outlined the schedule, confirming that sound checks would be carried out in advance.

He said: “It is important to communicate with residents and for them to understand that we will do all we can to ensure that the festival causes minimum disturbance. I hope many of them will join us for what promises to be a superb event.”

Tickets:, or in person or by phone at the Novium (Tower Street, Chichester) or by telephone (01243 775888 – option 1). Tickets are discounted for all carers and children under 11 go free with an accompanying adult. Doors open at 17.00 on the Friday and 13.00 on the Saturday and Sunday. All music will conclude by 22.45, earlier on the Sunday.

The letter:

Priory Park Festival July 7/8/9.

I hope you will forgive me for sending this circular letter to you but I want to share with residents who live close to Priory Park our plans for a family festival in a few weeks’ time.

As you might be aware as part of the Festival of Chichester we are planning a weekend of music and arts to be held in the Park on July 7, 8, and 9. Our intention is to provide a worthwhile event that is both fun and enjoyable, while ensuring that it causes the minimum of disruption and disturbance to local residents.

We have taken over the former Real Ale and Jazz Festival licence, and the event will be of a similar size. It will last three days (instead of six) starting at 5 PM on Friday July 7, finishing at 10.30 pm on the Friday and Saturday and at 10 PM on Sunday July 9. On Saturday and Sunday the entertainment will start at 1pm. There will be no music, apart from the occasional sound check in the morning, outside of these times and the curfew times mean just that: 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday, 10pm on the Sunday.

We plan to appeal to a family audience while reflecting the artistic intentions of the festival. There are children’s entertainers, food and drink and live music. This includes local youth performers from the Chichester Music Academy, Jazz artists, as well as performers such as Georgie Fame, The Christians, Dodgy, and Tony Christie.

The site will be set up from Wednesday July 5 and will be struck on Monday July 10. We will pay particular attention to how people attending both arrive and depart, and will be working with the relevant authorities to ensure there is sufficient marshalling at all hours.

We very much hope you will join us for what we hope will be a memorable event. The festival will benefit two local charities as well as providing entertainment. If you get this letter and buy your tickets from the website ( use code OVA for a 10% discount. You can also get tickets from the Novium museum either by telephone or in person but the discount does not apply from there.

Obviously noise will be a concern for some residents and to make sure you have contact with the organisers and can make your opinions felt there is a telephone line that will be manned throughout the event.

The number is: 07541576121 All calls will be monitored and logged and all comments will be passed both directly to the festival organisers for immediate action where appropriate, and to the council for future use.

We are holding sound tests on the Thursday to ensure that we can control the levels of sound adequately to prevent undue disturbance. This will be during the afternoon and not after 19.30.
If you wish to contact us before then please use email: [email protected]

I have taken the liberty of enclosing some information about the event.
Many thanks for your time

Robin Bextor
Priory Park Festival

About the Author

Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son. And he is a life-long Arsenal fan.