Midnight fireworks for Wizard

A MIDNIGHT fireworks display planned for the Wizard Festival has been given the go-ahead, despite concerns from nearby farmers.

Plans were approved by councillors at a meeting last week for the 11.55pm fireworks display, which will close the two-day New Deer music event on August 27.

Buchan area committee councillors accepted fireworks professional Mark Copland’s application for a dispensation order - which allows the display to take place 55 minutes after the 11pm curfew.

Concerns had been raised by farmers living near the New Deer site that horses, cows, and wildlife would panic during the five minute display.

Aberdeenshire Council’s principle trading standards officer Kevin Fleurs said that six farmers had objected to the late night display, worrying that it would frighten livestock.

He said: “Loud noises cause stress and anxiety to farm animals as well as to the farmers themselves.

Around a third of the surrounding residents object to the 11.55pm display.”

Councillors recognised that there was a risk but noted that it was the same risk as if the display were to take place within the curfew.

Councillor for Central Buchan Peter Chapman said: “I understand that stampeding cattle can cause a problem, but if we refuse this application, the display will happen anyway - only earlier.”

Mr Copland, of Inverurie-based Fireworx Scotland, said that applying to councils for dispensation orders was ordinary procedure when putting on fireworks at music festivals.

Mr Copland, who also puts on fireworks displays at Rockness, Belladrum and Wicker Man festivals said: “A fireworks display is not something that would happen every day of the week.

“The Wizard Festival draws huge crowds and brings a lot of money into the local area.

“There will be huge sound systems set up at the site.

“A five minute display after the music is finished will make little difference to noise levels.”