ORGANISERS of a proposed Billericay music festival for 20,000 people have been warned they are running out of time to prove they can host the event safely.

Applicant Roger Wilson wants to hold the Eighties-themed festival at Barleylands Farm over the May Day weekend next year.

But ongoing concerns about the festival’s event management plan means it has yet to be granted a licence.

It is believed Sister Sledge and Odyssey have both been lined up to perform if the Uprising Music Festival is given the go-ahead.

A Basildon Council licensing hearing was held yesterday afternoon, but it was adjourned until December 18 after the applicant produced a new 200-page plan on the day of the meeting.

In submissions ahead of the hearing, police, councillors and environmental health officers all raised concerns about the original plan.

Licensing committee chairman, Tory councillor Stephen Hillier warned Mr Wilson he must have compiled a plan which is acceptable to the authorities by next month’s meeting.

Neil Carman, police partnership inspector for Basildon, said: “We can’t go on having another one and another one.

“One of the police concerns is the timescale and we see December 18 as a line in the sand.

“I want to make it clear we would expect an acceptable management plan done and dusted by that date.

“If not, I think that would be the line in sand.”

Organisers want permission for a maximum of 20,000 visitors per day, with live music until 10.30pm and alcohol sales until 2am.

But Essex Police found plans for the event were “too generic” and “not site specific”, asking for extra conditions to be imposed before the licence is granted.

Basildon Council environmental health boss Tony Meech also raised concerns the organisers had not planned sufficiently for the event.

Mr Wilson wants the festival to be family-themed, with attractions including comedy, an open air cinema and children’s area.