All 850 camping pitches at Deer Shed Festival near Thirsk will have their own toilets this year and fewer tickets will be sold, say organisers

One of the country’s leading family-oriented music festivals has outlined some of the extensive public health measures it will introduce to ensure maximum safety at the event.

Deer Shed Festival in 2017

Ahead of tickets going on sale on May 18 for Deer Shed: Base Camp Plus, its director Oliver Jones said it would be run on a socially-distanced basis, rather than testing attendees, to maintain as much of the festival’s distinctiveness as possible.

Even though the event is scheduled for July 30 to August 1, it has been designed to meet Step 3 restrictions in the government’s Roadmap, which came into force this week.

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Mr Jones, who runs the festival on 90 acres of parkland near Topcliffe, Thirsk, said the decision had meant it could feature the likes of comedians John Shuttleworth, Mark Watson, and Flo and Joan as well as female-fronted music headliners in Jane Weaver, Dream Wife and Porridge Radio.

While recent runnings of the festival have seen about 10,000 people attending, organisers say as a result of social distancing requirements there would be less than 4,000 festival-goers, at Base Camp Plus.

Those attending will need to wear masks in covered areas and the event will feature table bar service. Among measures festival organisers will introduce to meet public health tests, being led by North Yorkshire County Council, include that each of the 850 camping pitches will have a toilet alongside.

Mr Jones said: “It’s going to look mad with a lot of toilets dotted around the place. We want to make it as bullet-proof in this current environment as we can because there will be more festival cancellations and anyone who thinks the festival summer season is on is fairly deluded.

“The unlocking timetable took the festival industry by surprise, but for Boris to say there’s an end to restrictions is very much not true. Large events are not going to be back to normal.”

A spokesman for the council said all such events would be reviewed by the local Safety Advisory Group which would consider if the event organiser was ensuring all mitigations are in place to protect the public.

Checks for the festival will include that it can demonstrate safe and effective management of crowd density, how queues can be managed effectively, its ability to ensure the use of face coverings and enhanced cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures.