By Mike Sheridan

A group of Ludlow residents say the town is in danger of being turned into a “combination of Glastonbury and Disneyworld” by a series of events planned for 2024.

Objectors at the meeting of Ludlow Town Council, held earlier this month, voiced their opposition to a licensing application for eight live music events set to be held at Ludlow Castle next year.

Organisers Futuresound had originally applied for a licence for 15 events, but scaled their plans back after an objection from Shropshire Council’s public protection team.

The company hosted four events at the castle earlier this year, which saw national headline acts such as Bastille, Kaiser Chiefs and Nile Rogers come to the market town  along with around 20,000 visitors.

Addressing the meeting during public questions, John Cartwright, chair of the Ludlow Civic Society, said the 2023 events had caused problems with anti-social behaviour and accused organisers of exploiting the town for its picturesque setting.

“The [Ludlow Civic] society fundamentally opposes the application for 15 events,” he told the meeting.

“There’s a risk of turning Ludlow into a combination of Glastonbury and Disneyworld – Ludlow is being grossly exploited.

“We would say to Shropshire Council from our experience that the maximum number of events should be four.”

Other concerns raised included the levels of disruption caused during the setting up and breaking down of the events, and the levels of pollution caused by trucks rolling through the town on their way to the venue.

The application will now be decided by Shropshire Council, with the authority inviting comments of support or objection by this Thursday (December 21).

Councillor Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow North, said he is unsure how he vote. 

“I would have ideally liked it to be less than eight, but I think eight is a reasonable compromise," he said.

"I’m waiting to hear the views of residents and others. Across the town, I would say the majority of people would be in favour of 15 events, but those people might not be aware of all the consequences.

“You have to set up the event, and then you have to take it down, and it’s extensive and that’s going to have a hit on the traditional economy of the town. I’ve got mixed views and I’m in listening mode before submitting my final comments.”