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Villagers ranting at rave as star line-up is revealed early.

People living near a proposed outdoor music festival fear they are being "railroaded" into the event as the line-up of bands and DJs has been announced before it has council permission.

The Angel Music Group is billing the night, at Wallhouses Farm, on the Military Road, near Matfen, as the "first ever festival to boast a line-up of block-rocking bands and superstar DJs".

But neighbours say the HiFi festival, planned for May 27, is being forced on them before it has been granted permission by Castle Morpeth Borough Council.

Tickets for the event ( proposed to run from 2pm to 4am and expected to attract 25,000 people ( have now gone on sale for pounds 52.50 and pounds 75.

Among the acts is Ian Brown, former front man of the Stone Roses, Newcastle band Maximo Park, world-renowned DJs Paul Oakenfold and Sasha and John Digweed.

Eileen Lymburn, 53, whose home at South Wallhouses Farm borders the site, said: "It seems the festival is going to be much bigger than we thought. These big names are bound to attract a lot of people.

"We feel we are being completely railroaded. What power have they got to start selling tickets before they have even been given permission to go ahead?"

She said: "We simply don't want this festival near us and there is a great deal of ill-feeling amongst people living in the area."

The company said it was still in the process of putting together its application but was working closely with Northumbria Police and Castle Morpeth Borough Council to ensure "everyone enjoys an event which is entertaining and safe".

It said it would be installing a traffic-management system and setting up a hotline for local people to contact the event's management office.

A press release announcing the event states: "HiFi is the brainchild of the Angel Music Group, who are responsible for Global Gathering, which last year sold out with record-breaking numbers of over 40,000 people."

Festival organiser James Algate said: "Hi:Fi is the festival for the iPod generation.

"The event will offer something for everyone musically by bridging the gap between out-and-out dance and live shows."

THE full line-up of bands and DJs expected to play at HiFi is:

Ian Brown

Maximo Park


Audio Bullys

Paul Oakenfold

Sasha and John Digweed

Erick Morillo

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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2006
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