In January 2018 Lambeth Cabinet gave the provisional approval for the Field Day festival to go ahead in Brockwell Park on the first weekend of June, and we have been working hard as your local Councillors to ensure that this festival, if it were to go ahead, is properly managed. Since these event proposals for Brockwell Park came to our attention we have been talking with the community to make sure that resident views are taken into account, and held a public event back in December 2017 for example to make sure residents could engage in the process and allow for them to have an opportunity to put their views forward.
After consulting with local residents we made an extensive submission to the Licensing Committee – the independent statutory body tasked with deciding whether Field Day has the permission to get a license to sell alcohol and host live music. In the main, we have made the case that the closing times need to be significantly reduced, that noise issues remain a concern and that we also have concerns about disturbances and anti-social behaviour. We will be at the Licensing Committee on the 4th April 2018 to represent residents.
Otherwise, we have also started on a provisional basis working with the community team from the Field Day event organisers. In the event the festival goes ahead we have already managed to secure agreement from Field Day for the protection of parking spaces in the area around the festival, for extensive rubbish clearance on all roads around the park and a commitment to attend initiate meetings with local businesses around possible opportunities the festival can bring to them. The plans are a long way from being ready but some constructive work is being under taken on this.
Furthermore, we have also secured a high level agreement to look again at features of the events policy relating to Brockwell Park. This would include setting a maximum cap on numbers in the park for any event, tighter noise controls and a trigger for public scrutiny. We are looking to set out a timetable for these reforms to govern any events in 2019 and reduce the overall events burden in Brockwell Park.
Finally, Cllr Fred Cowell will continue working with Brockwell Park Community Partners towards ensuring that Heritage Lottery funding can be used to improve Brockwell Hall as a basis for a more secure future for the park in order to develop long term funding, and investment security for Brockwell Park.
Yesterday evening Thurlow Park’s
Labour councillors hosted a public meeting to listen to the views and concerns
of local residents on possible events in Brockwell Park. Since Lovebox and
Field Day, two major events organisers, announced that they were applying to
move their festivals to Brockwell Park in 2018, this is just one of the ways we
have been listening to residents and seeking feedback – we have also heard from
over 100 of you by email, engaged with groups and individuals on social media,
doorknocked locally, and met with parks groups and local resident associations.
No decision has been taken
on the applications submitted by Lovebox and Field Day, and we wanted to ensure
that our residents’ views help to shape the way we challenge and scrutinise
Events in our parks are part of a
difficult balancing act – since the Tory Government cut Lambeth’s funding by
over 50%, our parks need income in order to keep them maintained and looked
after. However, large events have a major impact on local residents and on the
fabric of the park – in terms of noise, disruption to transport, a large part
of the park fenced off for a significant period of the summer, anti-social
behaviour, loss of income for local traders, and the sheer volume of people
coming and going. Brockwell Park is such a vital part of our community that any
decision as to its future has to be taken very carefully.
Brockwell Hall is refurbished and able to host such events as weddings and
conferences that would bring in sufficient income for the park, we understand
the need for some events to keep the park usable for everyone the rest of the
year round. However, we have some red lines on their scale and impact, which we
developed after listening to the concerns of residents.
believe applications from event organisers should meet these criteria:
40,000 people, as
proposed by Lovebox and Field Day, is too big for a park the size of Brockwell. We believe around 25,000 people per-day
should be the ceiling for large commercial events in the park.
or large events which involve more than 20,000 people per day over multiple days must be limited to one a
year. There simply isn’t the scope alongside hosting the Country Show to
have more than one major commercial event and keep the park running for all
users to enjoy.
and pack-down times must be kept to a minimum. The current proposals from
Lovebox and Field day shut off a significant portion of the park for many weeks
over the summer – this is unacceptable. Event days and set up and set down days
are the same thing for many park users who are blocked from their regular use
of the park.
‘footprint’ of the event must be limited and the days the park is fenced off
must be kept to a minimum.
commercial event in Brockwell Park should be an accredited London Living Wage
employer, and should make this a condition in their contracts and
events organisers should have a local procurement strategy – councillors
and the local community should have a key role in designing this strategy and
an ongoing role in monitoring its implementation.
organisers should have a robust and detailed local travel plan that takes
into account not only Brixton tube station, but Tulse Hill and Herne Hill
stations, local buses, parking and pedestrian congestion.
On top of paying for additional policing, commercial event organisers should have
visible security staff in surrounding streets to prevent anti-social behaviour.
The wellbeing of local residents should be at the heart of any event organiser’s event planning and delivery. There should be a dedicated number for residents to call and a quick response time to any issues raised such as excessive noise.
As well as paying for the clear-up in the park
afterwards, events organisers should be
responsible for clear-up outside the park’s fences too – from littering,
anti-social behaviour and damage to property.
commercial event organisers coming to Brockwell Park must provide high quality
apprenticeships to local young people. The number of apprenticeships should
be proportional to the size of the event.
As it currently stands, neither
event meets our criteria, so we oppose either application being progressed
unless they are prepared to make significant changes to their events.
From what we understand to date, Lovebox
have not yet made any indication they are willing to reduce the size of their
event, and have refused our request to stop selling tickets until their
application has been progressed. For this reason, we do not currently think
Lovebox should come to Brockwell Park.
Field Day have suggested that they are open to making some
changes to their application and we are open to working with to see if
something can be delivered that works for the park.
We also believe that it is not
appropriate to offer multi-year deals to new events. As we saw with Sunfall,
some event companies promise one thing but fail to deliver, causing disruption
and damage. We think an annual review of applications allows councillors and
the community the opportunity to reject event organisers who have proven
themselves to be irresponsible.
In assessing these applications,
we have identified some areas where Lambeth’s event strategy may need benefit
from a refresh – for example, it currently only talks about event days and does
not take into account how long it takes companies to set up and pack down their
stages and equipment. We think this is an opportunity to involve experts and
members of the community to address issues like access to the park, event
footprints and duration, an upper limit on volume of people, noise, anti-social
behaviour and other local impacts.
We also believe it is an opportunity
for a transparent discussion about park finances and the need for investment,
and to develop a stronger commercial offer which adds greater value to our
local community in the future for events wanting to come to Brockwell Park.
Two companies responsible for designing and building
large scale music events have approached Lambeth with a view to hosting events
in Brockwell Park. These events – Lovebox and Fieldday – were previously held in
Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets and are now looking for a new home.
It is important to emphasise that no decision on either
event has been made and all events that take place in the park are subject to a
rigorous scrutiny process. Both companies are cooperating fully with this
process and are engaging with the community.
We understand that there is some anxiety about a repeat of problems experienced at last year’s Sunfall Festival. There has been no application up
to now for the Sunfall event which took place over the last two summers to be
held next year and at this stage it won’t happen in 2018.
It seems there has
been some advanced advertising by both Fieldday and Lovebox which has led to residents
enquiring whether a decision has been taken already. This has no bearing
whatsoever on the decision process and is a commercial matter for these
companies – we are asking them not to preempt the decision process and to stop
advertising their events in Brockwell Park until any decision has been made.
In coming to a decision on whether any event takes place
in the park – including these two – the council will need to weigh up a number
of factors including any reduction in access to the park for the community, the
effect of the event on the condition of the park and maintenance of the grounds
and the impact on local businesses and transport networks.
There is the opportunity for some much needed investment
into the park which is important because of dwindling public resources for
investment in parks due to continuing Central government cuts. An event of this
scale would enable much more to be spent on improving green activities and play
However the applications for these two events are far
larger than any private event that has been held in Brockwell Park for many
years. There is significant concern about the amount of the park that will be
fenced off and the level of interference in the use of the park by residents.
The overall scale of disruption caused by the set up and set down period of an
event this size has also been raised by local residents.
We have been working hard with the Brockwell Park Community Partners, neighbourhood forums, community groups and local residents to understand these concerns. We have met with the events organisers to ask for answers to these issues and for them to consider how they can support local businesses, minimise impact on the park during set up and pack down, keep nuisance to a minimum during the event, and pay the London Living Wage. We attended a public meeting organised by Fieldday and are following up concerns raised by attendees.
To support this work, we need to hear your view. We are organising an event to listen to concerns and answer any questions we are able to and relay questions to officers and organisers that we don’t yet have answers for.