Party at Palace in doubt

The Chanel fashion show was the last large event on the Peel.
The Chanel fashion show was the last large event on the Peel.

Fears are growing for the viability of the first-ever pop spectacular planned for Linlithgow .

The Journal and Gazette has spoken with parties said to be involved with the event but none of them has been able to confirm that it will take place on the given dates of August 9 and 10.

John Richardson, of promoters PDF Productions, was adamant dates had been agreed with Historic Scotland and that discussions had taken place with interested parties including the emergency services, all of whom he said were backing the weekend festival.

He said: “While we have had minor teething problems with dates, these have now been settled and we are forging ahead with August 9 and 10 as the weekend when one of Scotland’s prime music festivals will be born - and what a location for its debut appearance - Linlithgow Palace.”

A spokeswoman for Historic Scotland commented: “We have been in frequent contact with PDF productions.

“Given that the event falls within the summer months when the palace is busy with existing bookings, we have worked with PDF Productions to identify dates that could accommodate the proposed event.

“We have asked PDF to consult with community representatives about their proposals and have requested they include the outcome of those discussions with their application to hold the event on the dates discussed.

“It is only after an application has been made that we can make a final decision.

“At this time we have received no application from the promoters.”

Mr Richardson told us that, because of the problems with organising dates for the event, two of his projected headlining acts, Del Amitri and Big Country, were unavailable to appear.

Peter Barton of Rock Star Management, agents for Big Country, told us: “I have received no approach from anyone requesting to book the group for an event in Linlithgow during August.

“To claim we are unavailable is absolute nonsense but even more so when have never been approached yet.”

Mr Richardson also claimed West Lothian Council was fully behind the event.

A West Lothian Council spokesman said: “Regular meetings have taken place with Party at the Palace organisers over their proposed event. Significant progress has been made, with a number of issues still to be resolved prior to the event.”

One of the main concerns for residents of the town is parking for the event.

The organisers have said that 15,000 tickets will be made available for the event, and, whilst a number of festival-goers will use public transport, the fear is that several hundred cars will descend on the town with nowhere to park.

Police Scotland said: “Following receipt of a public entertainment licence application, discussions are underway between police, West Lothian Council and the applicant in relation to the planning of this event.

“These discussions are at an early stage and no arrangements for parking have been agreed at this time.”