On Thursday morning Councillors from Lambeth and Southwark undertook a site visit of Field Day to review all operations and the site itself. From Thurlow Park Ward, Councillors Fred Cowell and Peter Ely attended. The visit was lengthy and many points were covered, but here are some of the general points we noted:
- The security operation was extensive although there had been some problems with site security at points during the build.
- The exit and entry arrangements had taken on board a lot of the concerns raised. Entry lanes at the two entry points had 20 lanes each lane allowed for entry of hundreds of at any one time with full security searches. Fences lines have been set up to concentrate people through to the gates – if this is policed properly it won’t be possible for people to exit the event and walk into the park. People will directed and funnelled across the crossing towards Herne Hill station.
- Trees had a variety of different protection being set up around them. This included Harris fencing surrounding saplings, which was far higher than other previous measures undertaken at the park. There was also other protections in place for park features such as benches.
- A full log had been taken of all damage thus far done to the grass. It should be stressed that for the most part the site was unaffected by any of the vehicle movement across it and certainly all of the areas in front of the main stage the barn and other areas were unaffected by anything other than mild markings.
- There seemed to be adequate litter arrangements in place across the site and a detailed clean up team. There is a strong focus on recyclable material being used by the festival and the final percentages of recyclable material will be published.
- There is going to be a very extensive police presence in place to deal with drugs, unauthorised substances and anti-social behaviour. One detail which the police are now insisting on is that all water has to be dispose of before entering the site – due to acid attack risk – the organisers have large numbers of free water points in place to deal with this.
- Issues to do with the construction were raised – such as speeding vehicles and staff directing people around the park –many of these have been resolved by Field Day and reasonably quickly. There were a couple of trees affected in terms of broken branches. The parks team are satisfied that this relatively minor. We are however very concerned about reports of construction going on into Thursday night and have asked for an explanation about why this happened.
Areas of concern
There are also some points of concern arsing from the visit which we should set out here
- There is some concentrated damage following the heavy rainfall on Tuesday on areas behind the main stage around the top of hill where deliveries were being received. This is damage to the turf that will need full repair. Whilst this concentrated only in a few areas – and it is important to stress that for most the site all Councillors were reassured that the grass was largely unaffected – these areas will need to be repaired and have been logged by the parks team. An independent survey has also been made of the grass and grass verges.
- Some of the mature trees are not subject to the same level of protection as the saplings. This has been raised with the team – obviously the nature of the risk is different – but the cleaning strategy will need to be adapted to deal with this risk and the organisers have taken this on board.
- The Fencing was for the most park quite carefully set up with no damage done to the grass, however the ground was a lot drier then and there is an increased risk of damage during the set down stage.
- The sound checks revealed that the noise will be concentrated over a particular area of the park mainly over the Tulse Hill side of the park. Any feedback on sound levels at different points would be welcome.
We are going to be carefully monitoring all conditions of the licence over the weekend. But we will need to hear from you via email if you have any complaints or concerns.
In the event of a noise complaint, please contact Field Day on 0203 886 0739. They will offer to monitor the sound levels at your property and liaise with technicians to minimise the issue. If noise levels are above those specified in the license conditions, immediate action will be taken to reduce the levels at the noise source.
Please note this is a recorded service – as all of their staff are out dealing with issues as they arise. When you leave a voice message that will be forwarded to a member of the Field Day Community Liaison team – it is being monitored outside of event hours and during event hours there are staff on hand to respond as quickly as they can by return phone call or email. So you won’t speak to someone directly when you call but you will get a response from someone in response to your complaint. You will be encouraged to leave name and postcode for the call log so that field day can get back to you.