Each summer sees applications from event organisations to hold festivals, sports events or other activities in Brockwell Park. In the last few years, some of these have been of particular concern to the local community because of anxiety about noise, antisocial behaviour or the impact on the park. Many of you have also been in touch about the long term financial sustainability of the park, as it’s an invaluable local asset.
Last year, we worked very hard to mitigate these concerns with regards to Love Box and Field Day applying to come. We held a public meeting and knocked on many of your doors to listen to your concerns. We developed some red lines and put these across strongly to colleagues, officers and licensing committee. Some concessions were won, and we will continue to do this with the application from Mighty Hoopla this summer too.
However, there were some issues raised which couldn’t be dealt with via individual event applications because they were reflections on the wider framework policy for events in parks. We committed to campaigning for a review of the events strategy and to giving you an opportunity to input into this.
With that in mind, we are holding a public meeting on reviewing the events policy and the future of Brockwell Park on 11 March at 6.30-8.30pm at Rosendale Primary School.
Since Lovebox and Field Day made applications to Lambeth last autumn to hold events in Brockwell Park, we have been working hard to ensure residents’ views are listened to. We have knocked on doors in the local area, worked closely with community and park
groups, and organised a public meeting last December to consult Thurlow Park
In January we were able to successfully push for Lovebox to be turned down as we did not feel that they met our conditions and they were not showing willingness to compromise on their plans.
In March, again reflecting what you have told us, we objected to Field Day being granted a licence unless certain strict conditions were met. Our submission to the Licensing Committee called for shorter opening hours, reduced noise levels and a better-managed exit from the park, in recognition of the fact there was going to be a lot of disruption to local area and that people such as shift workers and children doing their GCSE exams needed better protection.
We fought your case hard and spoke on residents’ behalf at the Licensing Committee hearing. The level of scrutiny of the organisers and the number of residents who spoke meant the hearing went on until midnight.
Cllr Fred Cowell speaking at the Licensing Committee hearing
After a further five days deliberation, the Licensing Committee have decided to award Field Day a one year licence to hold the event in Brockwell Park, subject to certain
conditions. You can view the full decision on Lambeth’s licensing site.
Our views of the decision are:
We had a degree of success in securing an enhanced security plan that is far in excess of anything at previous events in the park.
We are disappointed that the hours have not been reduced as significantly as we asked for, but were able to secure a partial reduction in opening times on Friday and Saturday and a fuller reduction on Sunday evening so that alcohol sales end at 9pm and music will end at 9.30pm.
Most importantly the licence is for this year only and we have secured a post-festival consultation at which we will review how it went and, if necessary, block it from ever coming to the park again.
Outside of the licensing process, we have secured a commitment to review the parks events policy later this year, including looking at a cap on overall numbers at events and a trigger for public consultation, which would affect any event applications for 2019.
In the short term events provide a means of managing the vast funding shortfall that parks are facing as a result of the huge cuts to local authority grants imposed by the
Tory government. In the medium to long term, we want to move away from music festivals as a source of income and are working with park groups and the Council on a project to redevelop Brockwell Hall to allow it to be used for weddings. Brockwell Park is at the very heart of our community and we remain committed to safeguarding it with tangible action not empty promises.
Brockwell park is host to Field Day from the 1-3 of June. This is a much larger commercial event than the park has previously hosted and we are currently working with the organisers on managing and controlling the event.
We understand the concern about large events in Brockwell Park. We fought to block another larger event, Lovebox, from coming to the park, have refused permission for previous events that have not met the standards required in the park to return, and will
be having a post event consultation on whether Field Day comes back to the park next year.
As part of the authorisation process, Field Day has to go through a licensing application. This determines whether under the 2003 Licensing Act it can be granted a licence to sell alcohol and host live music. The Council’s licensing committee then has to review the application. This is a statutory process which is independent from political considerations. The committee is required to take the following four things into account.
As your local councillors, we have been consistent in engaging with local residents, listening to views and concerns, and working on your behalf. Since Field Day and Lovebox first applied to come to Brockwell park, we have met with many residents’ groups, worked with community and park organisations, doorknocked local streets and organised a public meeting for Thurlow Park residents to have their say. We published our view on this website here before Christmas and lobbied hard to stop Lovebox from coming, and for Field Day to reduce the size of the event.
We are currently drafting a submission for the licensing committee to consider, on behalf of Thurlow Park residents, though we would also like residents to make their own submissions on the application itself, and how the event should be managed.
In particular we would like your views on:
We are concerned about the lateness of the times on all evenings. In particular, we are concerned about the Sunday close time given that GCSE exams are the next day. We would like to move these hours back. What is your view on appropriate hours for the events to finish?
How the dispersal should be managed in order to maximise public safety? – at the moment the plan is to exit largely through the Herne Hill entrance.
Should there be a lower upper limit on the noise than the festivals last summer? There were a number of complaints about the noise and we want to get it right.
Field Day have made some extensive commitments about immediate clear up as
well as a general clear up. Where should there resources be targeted?
Under the terms of the Licensing Act, is there anything else we should take
Having listened to residents and worked closely with local community groups, we have been clear that Brockwell Park is not a suitable venue for such a large event and that it isn’t acceptable for the park to be fenced off for so many days during the summer holidays.
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.