Newcastle gambles on hosting the 'Love Parade'

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The Independent Online

A festival in Newcastle upon Tyne is to go ahead despite fears by taxpayers that they could be left to pay a huge bill.

Up to 250,000 revellers are expected to bring more than £14m to the local economy, but concern has been raised that the full cost of staging the Radio 1 Love Parade event could be as high as £488,000.

Paul Rubenstein, Newcastle City Council's head of arts and culture, said most of the costs would be recouped through an EU grant, and a park-and-ride scheme costing £10 a visitor. A similar parking scheme last year was a success, he said.

The council's safety advisory group will meet the event's organisers, SFX, today, to finalise terms for stewarding, toilets and medical cover. SFX has been granted permission to stage the street festival on condition that health and safety cover is organised by today.