A music event held on the afternoon and evening of Saturday 7th August, the Southern Sunset Festival, left Bohemia Road and surrounding areas festooned with rubbish. Local residents have complained both to the organisers JBM Music and to Hastings Borough Council that, as the event ended, a deluge of plastic throw-away ponchos, bags, bottles, cans and polystyrene overflowed from wholly inadequate rubbish collection facilities at the gate and blew in high winds over a wide area.

They complain further that JBM’s litter-picking team did not arrive until at least late morning of the following day, and that, even after they had undertaken some sort of clear-up, plastic debris still disfigured trees, hedges, grass areas and streets.

CREDIT: Lydia Thomas

No public response has yet been made by JBM. The council issued a statement a week later indicating that it is aware of the complaints. 

 A spokesperson commented that for the duration of the event, including setup and takedown, the Oval area was the responsibility of the organisers, but that additional resources had to be allocated to its maintenance “after the event”, and that JBM would be covering the costs of these works as required by their contract.

“A debrief is planned before the organiser is permitted any further events, with waste provision included as a standard agenda item,” the council spokesperson added. “The organisers will be expected to assess what may have gone wrong this time, and to revise their plans for future events as necessary.”

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