Village Web Site Forum

Terrence Mckenna
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 23:39
Annual Party in Sutton Clough
Hello Sutton forum,

I am posting this message in the hope that it will provoke some honest and open debate on the 'rave' that occurs every year in the sutton clough.

As a self-appointed spokesperson for the organisers (I use the term 'organisers' reluctantly given the fact that this is not an 'organised event' as such, simply a yearly outdoor party) I would like to express my disappointment at the way it has been portrayed, both by the council and the local papers.

The people that attend this immensely enjoyable evening are well aware that listening to music after nightfall in an area normally the sole domain of dog walkers, creates unease. But the fact is they really look forward to it, and would like nothing more than to enjoy it with the locals' support, rather than resistance. It is after all only once a year and shouldn't be too much to ask for.

I am hoping that by posting on this forum, some progress can be made from what has so far been a sole condescending voice from the local press.

If I can start the debate ball rolling:

As I understand it there are two main reasons for concern:


1) Local residents are affected by the disruption of party goers walking past houses close to the entrance of the Clough.

2) The council are worried (and quite understandably) about the possibility of being sued as a result of any accident that may occur within the wood.


Response suggestions..

(1) - Noise: given the fact that the environmental health's sound equipment reports from the two previous years were satisfactory in terms of volume, I am convinced that if the party was accessed via a different route the disruption to local residents would be minimal.

(2) - As has been stated in the Craven Herald

Council clerk, Denise Emmott, said: "We are covered for anyone who gets hurt on the land, but not covered if someone goes up there and drops a speaker on their foot."

.....The solution to this problem seems obvious, a simple disclaimer signed by the owners of the equipment agreeing to full responsibility in the event of any such accident arising. ?

Your comments are welcome.
Wendy Feather
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 21:23
Hello Terrence,

How many people have turned up at the rave in the past? Is this number likely to increase if given the go ahead? Is it for locals? Who does come to the rave? What happens on the night? What time does it start and finish? Does it benefit the local community? Could another location be better sought? How do the neighbours who have to ‘live’ with the rave feel about it – have they been asked?

lesley tate
Thursday, September 13, 2007 13:31

Please get in touch with me at the Craven Herald. I have reported on the rave since it was first raised at a parish council meeting earlier in the year. I felt that the council was of the opinion that the rave had never really caused any problems and was difficult to stop anyway because no one really knew when it would be held. the action was taken because of nearby residents who seemed to think it had grown out of all proportion. I have tried to find an alternative voice, but as you will appreciate, I struggled.

Lesley 01756 794117
Terrence Mckenna
Thursday, September 13, 2007 19:42

Lots of questions, I will try to answer them all.

1)How many people have turned up at the rave in the past?

The last party in September 2006 saw one of the best turnout, with an estimated 200 people throughout the night.

2)Is this number likely to increase if given the go ahead?

I think the high numbers last time were due to the fact that it was the tenth anniversary. Quite a few more old friends made the journey from London and other places as it was a special occasion. Other years have seen varying numbers attending. We don't advertise 'Party in the woods' (contrary to what has been reported) so as its just word of mouth, its therefore impossible to give an exact figure.

3)What happens on the night?

Due to many of our group of friends moving away to various parts of the country, and other complicating lifestyles, this party has been a good excuse for everyone to meet up, have a drink, a dance and a chat about old times. Of course there are many new faces each year, often returning the next year due to it being a fun filled and positive evening, which has generally gone without any trouble. The party night is a team effort, with everyone putting in to it what they can, such as setting up lights and projections, carrying speakers, creating artistic installations or simply bringing a bag of records to play on the night.

Its a shame more of the locals who have been upset by the party haven't been up to have a look what go's on up there, they may have enjoyed themselves if they had.

4)What time does it start and finish?

It usually starts around 9/10pm and the music is turned off in the early hours, usually when people start to leave. We have always been very thorough when it comes to cleaning up at the end. We appreciate the wood is used by dogs and children, and make every effort to see that rubbish and glass is removed as we leave.

5)Does it benefit the local community?

Absolutely! Of course there is a small member of the community that will not benefit (namely those living close by that don't like loud music) but it benefits the local people that attend, plus extra business for the local pubs.

Perhaps there could be more ways in which this could benefit the community? I'm sure 200 people all donating two or three pounds each for a worthy local cause wouldn't go a miss?

6)Could another location be better sought?

This question has been asked by ourselves this year due to the bad publicity. But the main point is this. It is our Clough too. we don't want to use it 365 days of the year for walking the dog through, we only want to use it once a year for holding this party, which for many people is their favorite night of the year. The reluctance in finding an alternative venue lies in the fact that the clearing in the trees half way up the Clough is a perfect size and location for us.

If another alternative location was offered by say, a local farmer, that would be just as suitable, we would of course seriously consider it.

7)How do the neighbours who have to ‘live’ with the rave feel about it – have they been asked?

I personally haven't been able to ask every resident, but from what I can gather there is a mixed opinion on this. It would be interesting to hear any comments or suggestions from anyone living down there.
Saturday, September 15, 2007 01:20
I'm a dog walker, and a resident of the village, and i'd like to say what a fabulous event this has been for the village. I've sat in the pubs and seen the young people coming in for a drink before going up the clough, and never seen any trouble caused by them. I've even been up to the 'rave' with my dog to see whats going on and i've found the young people up there very friendly, just having a good time. I walk up the day after with my dog and there's no sign of a party what so ever. These young people just want a bit of space to express themselves. For god's sake leave them alone... if you can't give them a break for one night a year, then its a poor reflection on you, our village and society.

Good on you Terrence for standing up for what you believe in... Long live the rave...
Sunday, September 16, 2007 14:02
It is really good to see such a great comment from a resident of Sutton who can clearly see what a positive event this is for young people!! I have also spoken to a lot of residents of the village who hold the same opinion as you Andy. People who don't actually go to the party but encourage it as it is such a unique evening, and so many people get so much out of it.

One of the residents I am referring to actually lives as close to the woods as you can get, right next to the GATE access point to the Clough. I have spoken to him the last two years and he has given us nothing but positive encouragement. He pointed out that he's all for people enjoying themselves and has no problem with the event.

I am one of the main organizers and I was disappointed to read Lindsey Quinn's (head of environmental health and housing at Craven District Council) comment in the second Craven herald article saying,

"Unfortunately, false contact details have been given to the council and we have been unable to trace the event's organizers".

As my friend has said above, the environmental health has visited us at the site for the previous two years and have been satisfied on both occasions that the volume of the music has been at an acceptable level and not a disturbance of the peace. When I spoke to the environmental health I gave them my full name and address (as well as to the police who also came to the site) and neither of these details were false.

I don't know why Lindsey has false contact details but her comment makes us sound quite devious and that we go behind the authority and the village's back. Quite the contrary to this, we have informed the police before the event, every single year since it began and openly liaised with environmental health for the last two.

Wendy, your question asking How do the neighbours who have to 'live' with the rave feel about it – have they been asked? is very valid and clearly the way they feel about it is very important. As my friend has said, everyone who enjoys this annual event would much rather enjoy it with the locals' support, rather than resistance.

It would be good if the neighbour/s who is/are objecting to the event could express the way they feel on this forum. Are their main concerns, as it suggests in the craven herald, the fact that someone could get injured up the Clough and ultimately the council is liable? (as we've heard, the council IS covered if anyone was injured on the LAND) Or do they find it a disturbance of the peace?

Can they understand the views of Andy (post above) myself and the many young people who have really enjoyed coming to the event over the last 10 years? As we are all local people we genuinely don't want to upset the villagers of Sutton and I can certainly understand things from the point of view from the residents of hall drive. I just hope that they can also understand that despite the sometimes dark, antisocial image that an "Illegal Rave" is painted with, it is actually just a group of friends who want to enjoy the music they like and make the most of a rare occasion which brings everyone together.

Can we hear the views of the council and the residents of hall drive? What are their feelings on the response suggestions to the two main issues that my friend has stated above? And can they understand that it is such an enjoyable night for so many people?

As you said you have been trying to find an "alternative voice", Lesley, is there any chance you can print our views in the craven herald and perhaps direct people with opinions to this forum?
Sunday, September 16, 2007 19:44
Good for you Russel... a well structured responce to some of the 'concerns' raised. One point that the 'kill joys' state, is the noise level. Well lets look at the village bonfire shall we. The firework display makes a hell of a lot more racket than the rave, a person was injured last year and what about the amount of amimals that sit shaking in fear at home because of the bangs, oh and lets not forget the roads round the village in grid lock restricting the flow of traffic and emergency vehicle access... Shall we ban that next? I don't think so, too many 'influencial pillars of the community' are involved in that one...

'Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.'

Leave the kids alone... let them have their one night of fun... it dosn't hurt anybody...
lesley tate
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 08:13

thanks for your comments. I shall do another story - from the organisers point of view.
Can I just ask, have you scrapped plans for an event this year?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 10:36
Hi everybody, I would just like to add my 2p, If this event went on during the day time how many objections do you think there would be...
Just a thought.

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