THE organisers of a controversial open-air dance music festival planned for Walford later this month have previously boasted of evading police when holding unlicensed events, it has emerged.

PullUp Recordings of South Wales advertises Gemfest 2024 at Great Howle Farm near Howle Hill over the weekend of June 14-16.

The proposed event still does not have a licence in place. Herefordshire Council will be making its decision on the application on June 7.

A large group of local residents opposed to the proposed to the festival voiced their concerns at a recent meeting of Walford Parish Council.

One parishioner said: “I suspect most of the people sitting in the public gallery are against this festival, for one reason or another. We are just a small fraction of those who live locally who don’t want to see this event go ahead.

“This is a massive issue as it would more than double the size of the local population over that weekend. There are so many other issues that needs addressing before an event like this is held.

“Is there anything this council can do to put pressure on the licensing authority?”

Following the lively discussion, the parish council voted to write to Herefordshire Council objecting to the festival. It is expected that a large contingent will lobby the local authority’s licencing committee about the festival on Friday, June 7.

In a video posted on Instagram last October, event organisers say they were prevented from “throwing a rave in a kebab shop” in Cardiff after the police “got wind” of it less than 24 hours before.

Police then also shut down an attempt to relocate the event to another kebab shop in the city five minutes before it was due to start, the video says.

Eventually the event “was a goer” in a youth hostel in the city, hosting “over 100 ravers without anyone being any the wiser”, the unnamed organiser says.

An undated TikTok video published by the record label also claims “hundreds more were on their way” to one of its raves in an undisclosed location, “before police managed to shut it down just before midnight”.

Another on PullUp’s TikTok channel shows a staff member dumping a bag of what appear to be empty drinks cans on a post box.

Neither police nor council trading standards officers have objected to the event, West Mercia Police was asked for comment.

Meanwhile a letter from the event’s organisers posted on Walford parish council’s website says that although the licensing application is based on a notional 1,500 guests, the event is expected to draw a “target attendee number” of 1,000 at its peak on the Saturday, with 400 to 500 people camping.

Organiser and PullUp Recordings co-founder Samuel Southan wrote that despite as “overwhelmingly positive response” to the event proposals, “we have had two instances of verbal abuse directed toward our team – one of these shockingly towards an uninvolved family member”.

• It has been reported that the story about GemFest in last week’s edition contained an error in which, we attributed the wrong quotes to David Freeman. The Ross Gazette apologises for this error.