This summer there are two events taking place in Brockwell Park, which will cause some disruption to Thurlow Park residents and park users. This is a short Question and Answer as to what is happening regarding the private event Mighty Hoopla and Cross the Tracks which will be taking place on the 8th and 9th of June this year. We will be releasing a further information post about the Lambeth Country show – the only other major event in the park to be held this summer – nearer the time.
What is happening and when?
The Mighty Hoopla and Cross the Tracks is taking place on 8th and 9th of June. Mighty Hoopla is an 18+ LGBTQ-friendly pop music festival. The festival has taken place previously in Victoria Park in 2017 and in Brockwell Park in 2018 – it will be held on Saturday the 8th of June from midday to 10:30 pm. Cross The Tracks is described by the organisers as a “family-friendly music festival” which will involve “a day of music, food, workshops, talks and more; celebrating the world of soul, funk, Motown, R&B and jazz.” It is new and has not been held before it will be held on Sunday 9th of June from midday till 10 pm.
How much of the park will be taken up
In 2017 after a public consultation we lobbied for festivals to be significantly reduced in size. The festivals that were held in 2018 – Field Day and Mighty Hoopla – were, we felt, far too big for the park. On the back of community consultation we called for events of around 20,000-25,000 people unlike the 37,500 that Field Day applied for in 2018.
We are happy to say that this year the events are considerably smaller in size and far less of the park will be disrupted. There will be 19,999 on Saturday and 15,000 on Sunday. The amount of the park in use has also shrunk in size – here is a diagram illustrating the difference (the orange line represents 2018 and the blue line 2019).
There will be five stages (three of which are small low capacity stages) which is an improvement on 2018 in terms of reducing the overall impact to the park. We broadly welcome the reduction in size of these events as we have been calling for this since 2017.
How much disruption will there be in set up
In total there will be 18 days of work in the park to set up and take down the festival. Again this is down from last year and although still disruptive we have managed to secure access across the site at all times bar the 7-10th of June which include the festival days and the maximum period of set up and take down. We lobbied for the construction to not take place during half term at all because of the importance of the park to the local residents during that time but were told that some construction would need to happen during this period.
All vehicle inflow will be through the Herne Hill gate. Brockwell Park Gardens gate will not be used for either festival set up traffic or as a point of access or egress during the entire weekend. All of the vehicles will be operating on a time controlled basis so as to avoid park users, be accompanied by a banksman and be controlled at all times. At all times the Herne Hill slip road will be open significantly minimising the amount of disruption to traffic along Norwood Road.
Any damage caused by the vehicles to the park will be compensated by the festival organisers. There should be less work than last year although it is still likely to be disruptive at times.
Who will be managing things during the festival?
Whilst the event is going on in the park there will be a community help desk and, a dedicated Residents Hotline will be set up for local residents and businesses. The Organiser’s Community Liaison Manager can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and can deal with enquiries relating to both event days (Mighty Hoopla and Cross The Tracks).
The residents Hotline number will be communicated via a residents letter that will be distributed mid-May, and displayed on the Lambeth Events, Mighty Hoopla and Cross The Tracks websites. This number is 0800 043 0305 but please note it is not operational until Thursday 30thMay. If you need to contact the Lambeth Events team during the event days or during the build and break aspects of the festival you can access them on 0207 926 9793 which is the out of hours office number (17:00 – 20:00 build and break & 08:00 – 23:30 event days). Otherwise their normal phone number is 0207 926 6207 – which is available 8:00 – 17:00.
How loud is it going to get?
The noise limits are in line with the noise policy adopted by Lambeth Events and approved by the Council. We have argued along with residents for two years now to have these reduced due to the proximity of park events to residential properties – unlike other large parks in London. However, we were unsuccessful in this although that said last year only a handful of noise complaints came from residents in Thurlow Park Ward, considerably less than for festivals that had taken place in 2016 and 2017.
This year the soundstages have been redesigned to be even more self contained. This should mean even less noise escapes from the festival site. Last year we were made aware of a particular noise cluster around the junction of Turney Road and Croxted Road. We have raised this with the organisers and sound engineers and this has been incorporated into the design of the festival in order to minimise the risk of this happening again.
All reports of anti-social behaviour and noise complaints are independently recorded and will be investigated by the events team. Last year Cllrs independently took noise surveys throughout the day and there are official noise monitoring points at various locations in the park. If there is anything that you would like us to look into regarding the managing of noise please let us know.
What about people coming to and leaving the event?
On the Saturday the park will be clear by 11 and on the Sunday by 10:30. Exit is through the Herne Hill and Brixton Water Lane entrances to the park with people being funnelled towards both stations. Tulse Hill station will not be designated a major transport hub for the festival but we have requested that rubbish points be made available, as they were last year to minimise the impact of egress on the community at large.
The conditions that were in place on the organisers last year are in place this year regarding security and egress. Similar levels of professional security staff to 2018 will be present throughout the weekend and to guide people out of the park. We have also asked for the presence of security to be targeted to deal with the few incidents that happened last year on egress. The organisers of the festival will be coordinating with the police extensively throughout both event days and to get approved in the first place had to go through a rigorous scrutiny process from the fire brigade and police service.
What will happen if there’s damage to the park?
All events big and small, taking place in the park run the risk of damage and this event is no exception. Separate to any money paid to the council and the park for hosting the event the organizer’s have to pay a bond to cover damage and are contractually obliged to cover any and all damage. In 2018 for example a lorry damaged the Herne Hill entrance gate leading into the park and this was repaired in full. No expense is borne by the Council for any of this work and an independent company carries out the work.
How does it benefit the park ?
The revenue from commercial events comes in two forms. Firstly Park Infrastructure Levy (PIL) which is money, that goes directly into the park. Last year Field Day and Mighty Hoopla generated over £36,000 for this budget, which is used to develop the park and provide vital upgrades to the physical space in the park. Secondly there is income from hosting the event which now, following a judgment in the High Court about all London Boroughs which manage their open spaces, goes straight to funding the parks service. Last year this money was in the excess of £250, 000 – we asked for the full figures to be released but were told by the legal team that this is subject to commercial confidentiality in cotracts with the organizers – so absent that we can give the ball park revenue figure. As the event is smaller this year those figures will be lower but we will make it clear how much income is being generated for the event.
Last year Field Day ran a community fund that raised several thousand pounds for local causes. Most of this was paid out but a few thousand pounds was outstanding as of a few weeks ago. We were very disappointed about this and have been in touch with the organisers and the parent company for the event. As we understand this, the funds will be paid out and this was due to administrative errors beyond certain individual’s control. We have made it clear that this cannot be a feature of the festivals in 2019.
Why do events happen in the park?
It costs £400, 000 a year just to keep Brockwell Park open the grass cut, the trees pruned and the bins emptied. Due to ongoing austerity the parks budget has shrunk by over £2 million in the last decade. Festivals therefore are a necessary way of providing income and investment to the park. We have made it clear since 2018 that Festivals are not a sustainable funding solution for the park. We also as your Cllrs have sought to change the way that events are managed in the park. To this end we have done the following three things
- Worked to help the redevelopment of Brockwell Hall as a space for weddings and events. This is now underway and we will be posting more about that later on in the summer about how to get involved.
- Fought for and got revisions to the Events Strategy, which include reducing the number of event days in the park each year and put environmental assessments into the process of event approval. These will be published shortly. This should mean that music events in the park are subject to further limitations.
- Pursued the development of alternatives, such as looking at the redevelopment of sites that would bring more money into the park making it financially secure and safe from austerity.