WITNEY Music Festival looks set to go ahead after a dramatic week which saw organisers settle their differences with Witney Town Council.

Tensions ran high at a full council meeting last Monday, with the town council setting festival organisers a deadline of 9am on Friday to submit a fully approved event management plan.

However within 24 hours representatives of both sides sat down to work out their differences and the festival, to be held on the Leys on August 17 and 18, is back on track.

It helps smooth what has been a rocky road for the event and festival chairman Eric Marshall said he believed the latest development could signal a change in relations.

He said: “I think it dawned on everybody that this was just getting ridiculous.

“Nobody was winning and both sides needed to find a way forward.

“They sat down after the meeting to find a way forward and thrashed out what needed to happen.

“It’s to the credit of the people on all sides and the town council’s willingness to find a way forward.

“I think it shows the town in a positive light and the way we are coming together to celebrate this town we love so much.”

This year’s festival, headlined by leading Oasis tribute act Noasis and The Farm, has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in recent months.

In April the family behind the funfair at the 775-year-old Witney Feast raised concerns that the festival’s fairground would take some of its custom.

Meanwhile, the town council and festival organisers clashed over a finishing time for the event, held on council-owned land, with 11pm eventually agreed in May.

After last Monday’s meeting the council said the festival would only take place if organisers met the criteria for holding an event on council land by Friday.

Festival team members Matt Keeble and Jim Ashby sat down with town clerk Sharon Groth and council officer John Hickman to agree a deal the next day.

Town council leader Dean Temple admitted it had been tough at times but praised both sides for reaching an agreement.

He said: “The council has always said that if you want to use our land there are various terms and conditions you have to meet.

“There were a few issues back and forth but this year both sides have tried to work very hard.

“A few of the councillors said for the sake of the town and for the sake of everyone we’ve got the rules, so just stick by them and sort it out by Friday.

“We always had faith in them pulling through and they have achieved that.”