Peterhead Hogmanay party at risk of being cancelled over safety concerns

A New Year celebration event in Peterhead could be cancelled next week unless organisers prove it can go ahead safely.

By Kirsty Topp, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 6:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 6:52 am
The Rockin' Thistles are due to headline at Buchan Radio's Hogmanay gathering.
The Rockin' Thistles are due to headline at Buchan Radio's Hogmanay gathering.

Buchan Radio is planning to host its Hogmanay Bash on Broad Street later this month however concerns have been raised over a lack of information in the Event Safety Plan (ESP).

Tickets for the family-friendly open-air concert have been on sale since November despite organisers not receiving a Public Entertainment Licence from Aberdeenshire Council.

The licence application was discussed at a special meeting of the Buchan Area Committee on Tuesday, December 7.

Event organiser Ronnie Arthur of Buchan Radio told the committee that the station had always thought about hosting a Hogmanay event in the centre of Peterhead and decided to go ahead with its plans this year.

He said: “I really think that this could be a great event for Peterhead town centre, bringing people into the town, local businesses could potentially benefit from this and it could put Peterhead on the map over the festive period.”

A number of consultees had commented on the ESP including Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and council departments including Roads and Planning.

Speaking at the meeting, the local authority’s Protective Services manager Gordon Buchanan said he was “very supportive” of the work that had been carried out by the Buchan Radio team but noted that he still had some concerns.

He believed more detail was needed regarding the site plan, stewarding on the night, communications, noise levels, security and risk assessments.

Mr Buchanan also said that there wasn’t enough information on the proposed security search area for those entering the event.

He added that as this was the first time the event had been organised getting the ESP right was “important” and would help in the future should it return.

Following debate councillors unanimously agreed to approve the licence subject to conditions, however Buchan Radio will have until Tuesday, December 14 to ensure any outstanding objections are met.

If the objections are still in place the licence will be refused by the Buchan Area Manager on grounds of public safety and the event will have to be cancelled.

Councillor Stephen Smith said the committee “would like to see the event go ahead if possible” but added that they wanted to see a “successful and safe event for all concerned”.

Should the licence be approved it will be the first time Buchan Radio has hosted a New Year event in Broad Street and if it proves to be a hit it could return and possibly become a regular event in the future.

The event is set to be headlined by Glasgow pipe and rock band Rockin’ Thistles and feature acts including Claire Curren, Andrew Main, Abba A Rival and Billy West as Freddie Mercury.