A MUSIC festival for 4,000 revellers has been granted a licence despite fierce protestations from villagers.

Brownstock 2009 will go ahead at 28-acre Morris Farm in Lower Burnham Road, Stow Maries next month after a premises licence was granted by Maldon District Council.

Around 50 people gathered at a heated licensing sub-committee meeting at Cold Norton Village Hall last night, and many of them spoke of their concerns about noise, traffic problems and potential nuisance.

But Brian Clancy of Sygma Safety and Events Ltd, which is organising the festival along with applicant Adam Brown, assured the gathered public that the company were not “cowboys” and would run a professional event.

The festival, which will have a capacity of 4,000 customers and 999 staff, will take place over the weekend of July 11 and 12.

It has been running since 2004, but previously has been small enough to require only a temporary licence.

Beryl Board, speaking on behalf of 37 residents, said: “We have been portrayed as mean-minded killjoys - that is not the case.

“This site is unsuitable for an event of this size and duration.

“They suppose that if we put up with the past four events we will put up with anything.”

Residents were promised that entertainment on the main stage would finish at 11pm, although alcohol would still be on sale into the early hours of the morning.

Mr Clancy said: “Despite the way a few people have spoken about us, we are not animals.

“We understand people’s fears and worries. I don’t want a large fine and I don’t want to lose my livelihood.”

While granting the licence, chairman of the sub-committee, Bryan Harker, warned: “The licensing act does have teeth. If conditions are breached the authorities will lean on the applicants from a great height.”