Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis, who organises the event, announced that the popular festival was cancelled two days before it was due to start, claiming it was due to a lack of security.
The festival which was meant to run from today until Thursday 8 August and would have celebrated its 25th year had become a ‘victim of its own success’, said Deputy Lewis. Last year 7,000 people attended one of the evening film showings.
‘Up until now the event has been run very informally and as everyone knows it is free, so we have no idea how many people are going to come,’ Deputy Lewis said.
Deputy Lewis explained that he had been going ‘back and forth’ with the Entertainment Advisory Panel in order to secure the relevant permits, but was unsuccessful.
‘We usually have around five or six security staff at the event and also have to have either States or Honorary police outside the event managing traffic if needs be. But we were told by the panel that as the event had reached a certain size we needed more security which we couldn’t get.’
However, St Saviour Chef de Police Steven Laffoley-Edwards has strongly objected to Deputy Lewis’s claim and said: ‘We have always been supportive of the festival for the last 24 years and had to deal with a very last-minute request. We are usually asked to provide two officers but this year we [both St Saviour and St Helier Honoraries] were given 24 hours to provide five, which isn’t possible.
‘We are a voluntary service and with that kind of notice were unable to provide the people they needed.
‘We always do our best to support as many events as possible but 24 hours’ notice isn’t enough.’