ORGANIZERS of a Christmas market said they had listened to concerns and promised a “more magical, more traditional and higher quality” experience.
Last year’s inaugural Brighton market and festival drew criticism after being plagued by a series of noise problems and complaints.
David Hill, managing director of Hove company E3 Events, said this year’s event will not feature a fairground, there will be fewer bars, more retail stands and a smaller ferris wheel.
The event will also be moved from Old Steine and Valley Gardens to near St Peter’s Church.
Mr Hill said: “The market is getting bigger and better than last year and we are focused on developing a truly magical, high quality, traditional market in the city centre.
“People can look forward to traditional wooden huts, lovely decorations and something really festive.”
Organizers have teamed up with a German company behind the Winter Wonderland Christmas Market in Hyde Park to make this year’s event in Brighton a success.
Mr Hill also said the market’s performance events will be moved to venues across the city.
“We want to support local venues, we want this Christmas celebration to be city-wide, and we want visitors who come to the city to visit all of our tourist attractions and the city’s shopping districts,” he said.
However, the founder of a residents’ association has expressed concern that the market will not learn lessons from “last year’s debacle”.
Gary Farmer of the Old Steine Community Association said the noise from last year’s festival was like “your neighbors had a house party every night for 36 nights,” with a fairground playing music late into the evening booms.
He said: “I do not trust that the grass will be replanted or reseeded with any urgency or professionalism, lessons will not have been learned from last year’s debacle.
“The event was awkward, poorly executed and terribly unremarkable in every way – those who bothered were disappointed and discouraged.
“The issues raised have not been addressed. The mantra should be less is more, with quality over quantity at the forefront of planning.
“Once again we will hang our heads in shame as we endure an anti-climatic festival of tarpaulins, wire fences, diesel-powered generators, junk food and manure.”
Mr Hill said Old Steine will not be included in plans for this year’s festival as there are currently no plans to use Valley Gardens, where last year’s market was held.
He said: “Right now our plans are being built on hard ground so we’re not touching the grass and there won’t be a big fairground like we did last year.
“If we’re going to use grassy areas, we’re going to be looking at much more robust soil protection from the start, and we’re going to have very clear recovery plans before we even go to the site.”
Mr Hill said he would contact Mr Farmer and local residents in the area surrounding the festival well in advance of the November event.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20675688.brighton-christmas-market-bigger-better/?ref=rss Brighton Christmas market gets ‘bigger and better’