Field Day and Lovebox

Friends of Brockwell Park has from the outset opposed the applications by Field Day/The Mighty Hoopla (1-3 June) and Lovebox/Citadel (13-15 July) to hold major events in Brockwell Park this summer, on the grounds that their size (up to 40,000 a day for three days, taking from a third to a fifth of the park for weeks at a time) was grossly disproportionate for a small, hilly urban park such as Brockwell.
So it was good news on 31 January that Lovebox/Citadel had decided to withdraw its application and move to Gunnersbury Park in Ealing. But on the same day, Field Day/The Mighty Hoopla announced it had received permission from Lambeth Council to go ahead with its major event in June half term, a time particularly precious for local families.
Cllr Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, said: ‘We have engaged with residents, local businesses and other parties. Based on the resulting evaluation we have determined that two new major commercial events and the Lambeth Country Show this summer would be excessive.’
FOBP looks forward to seeing the evaluation on which Cllr Winifred has based her decision. We know thousands of people opposed both events; perhaps thousands of people we don’t know about supported them and Lambeth is playing the honest referee between them. If not, it looks as if Lambeth Council is plain ignoring local residents and going after the half million pounds it has been promised by Field Day/The Mighty Hoopla. It is interesting that, contrary to its own events strategy, Lambeth has ‘determined that two new major commercial events and the Lambeth Country Show this summer would be excessive’. It looks as if Lambeth is dressing up the withdrawal of Lovebox/Citadel as a worthy decision by Lambeth rather than a clever commercial move by Lovebox/Citadel to cut its losses and seek pastures new.
Friends of Brockwell Park believe this is a deplorable decision that will do real harm to the park and its supportive surrounding communities.

15 thoughts on “Field Day and Lovebox

  1. No event of this type should be held in Brockwell Park. It ruins the environmental benefits of the park for all local residents. Please make them go somewhere else or preferably just stop.
    It’s not just on the actual days but the surroundings get ruined for weeks and what about the poor wild life which manages to survive there.
    Please leave OUR park alone.

  2. Don’t we ultimately want the council to receive money? They could really use it for a lot of services a lot of vulnerable people rely on. I feel this outweighs other arguments, those who have what they need already probably don’t understand what a massive benefit this would be?

    1. Ultimately we want the Council to be properly funded and we want them to spend their money wisely.

      Sadly, the financial arrangements were hidden from the public, that old chestnut of commercial sensitivity… At no point were the Council able to give us a rough idea of the generated income and assurances that the share of this money that would go towards maintaining and improving parks and public spaces (let alone Brockwell Park more specifically).
      If money is the argument toward hosting those events then it’s only natural that residents should see some figures. Why Lambeth were unable to do this is anyone’s guess…

      That said, what would be the price tag that the community would put on their park? What amount of money from a multi-billion company like Live Nation would make up for having large amounts of the park fenced off for weeks over the summer, for the disruption caused by the event itself, for the risk to the park (it’s quite telling that Lambeth didn’t even conduct any assessment of the impact of music festivals on bio-diversity in the park)? That’s a difficult question to answer but surely we can’t answer “We want money… whatever it takes”, we have not sunk that low.

      And importantly if money is the issue, we want our Council to be frugal and honest about how they spend. For instance, we can discuss the spending of £1.2m to dig up the basement of Carnegie library, only to hand over the space rent-free to a private gym operator. Does that seem like the behaviour of a cash-strapped Council, counting every penny?

      1. Nobody is saying ‘we want money, whatever it takes’… we are saying if you have some perspective, the lives saved and improved by the money far outweighs the inconvenience.

        At the meeting held for local residents with Lovebox and representatives from the council, they discussed the amount of money that would be ringfenced for the park.

        1. “the lives saved and improved by the money far outweighs the inconvenience.”

          That remains to be proven but we are missing to much information. We don’t know how much money is involved, how it is going to be spent and what the “inconvenience” (having the park damaged by the activity of private companies is not just mere inconvenience).

          Many would be happy to have those conversations but every one needs to be honest:

          1/ about the money involved
          When the Council was challenged about the £500k income figure that you quoted (a figure large enough to force them to take the decision in full Council rather than Cabinet), they revised it down.
          How much of this would be ring-fenced, how much would be used in Brockwell Park? And what does ring-fencing means? Would it mean the fund would be used for standard maintenance coming out of existing budgets or ring fenced into improving the park?
          All those questions were unanswered.

          2/ about the impacts of those events
          Were the impacts fully assessed and presented honestly? Everybody saw the surrealistic exchange between officers and members of the public about the bio-diversity assessment report.

          Having people repeating “it’s only once a year” or accusing park users of nimbyism didn’t help either. The Brockwell Tranquility campaign for instance, laid out their concerns very clearly and were barely listened to by Councillors and officers, let alone given clear answers. Generally, it was clear Event Lambeth wanted to have those festivals in Brockwell Park but they didn’t do anything to sell it to the people who would be affected.
          There is a blatant lack of preparation and public engagement.

        2. Meeting? What meeting? I live literally three minutes from the park and I never heard of any meeting for local residents.

          What was the amount that would be ringfenced for the park and has it been communicated in any other way?

          1. They put letters through hundreds of doors inviting us to the consultation, as residents who would be in the ‘line of fire’ if you like. Maybe they missed some but a lot of people were there… I can’t remember the exact figure, but it was separate from any amount promised to the council. It was a portion of money directly taken from each ticket sale that went only into the park

          2. There were no leaflets issued by the festival organisers or Lambeth Council inviting local residents to the meeting held at Herne Hill baptist church last month. The only leaflet distributed was a piece of PR concerning Love Box and Citadel from Mama festivals.

  3. I agree that there should be continued opposition to the Field Day/Mighty Hoopla event in Brockwell park . All previous arguments stand for the one event as they do for two. As a Southwark resident of 30 plus years close to the Park life is hell even for the Lambeth Country Show which has changed completely since its beginnings with increased noise, unrestricted parking and the huge numbers of people that arrive continuously.

  4. Norwood Road resident – about as close to the park as you could get.

    The benefit of half a million pounds to a council that, like all local authorities, is struggling to keep vital services open and well-resourced, far outweighs the minor inconvenience to a few relatively well-off families who have to find somewhere else to take their kids to play for a few days.

    Local services save lives and help a community thrive, more than a park being open for a few days. Money to the council – a large portion of which will be ringfenced for maintaining and improving brockwell Park (something that, without the festival money, the council would struggle to do) – will help our community.

    I could understand people’s criticisms when Brockwell Park was set to host many festivals covering many weekends of the summer – I wouldn’t want my local park constantly closed either. But given the recent announcements that other festivals are moving elsewhere, the inconvenience of Field Day coming to brockwell pales in comparison to the benefits it can bring.

    Disquieted voices shout the loudest…

    1. As far as I can recall from the meeting on the 18th, there was no commitment that money would be specifically ring-fenced by the council for Brockwell Park, but rather for “parks”., and the overall figure of £100,000 was mentioned. Not a lot for the inconvenience to the park.

      As for any other money (half a million pounds from each event was a figure chucked around by the council), It’s a drop in the ocean compared to Lambeth being half a billion pounds in debt, and planning to borrow at least £420 million in the next financial year (£100 million to pay compensation to survivors of the Shirley Oaks childrens’ home; £20 million for a leaseholder housing buy-back program on estates being regenerated, and £300 million for Lambeth’s property development company “Homes for Lambeth”. It’d be lovely to think that the money from the festivals would go into the General Fund and pay for much-needed services, but it’s unlikely to happen. The money will just get soaked up by the excess layers of management at the Town Hall.

  5. Norwood Road resident – about as close to the park as you could get.

    The benefit of half a million pounds to a council that, like all local authorities, is struggling to keep vital services open and well-resourced, far outweighs the minor inconveniences to a few relatively well-off locals who have to find somewhere else to take their kids for a few days.

    Local services save lives and help a community thrive, more than a park being open for a few days. Money to the council – a large portion of which will be ringfenced for maintaining and improving brockwell Park (something that, without the festival money, the council would struggle to do) – will help our community.

    I could understand people’s criticisms when Brockwell Park was set to host many festivals covering many weekends of the summer. But given the recent announcements that other festivals are moving elsewhere, the inconvenience of Field Day coming to brockwell pales in comparison to the benefits it can bring.

    Disquieted voices shout the loudest…

  6. My previous objections regarding access, impact on the park and noise levels remain. It will not cope with an event of this size and duration. We can see the damage to the ground now that’s been caused by heavy rainfall- it doesn’t take much to tip it over the edge. It’s a park not a stadium after all.

  7. I think that austerity is a a shame and they should tax four wheel drive cars to fund parks.. How can London be poor when it is full of huge expensive unnecessary pouting mega cars that are destroying our lungs and the earth’s air! Let us use our own bodies to walk cycle and run living longer healthier lives in the parks that were bequeathed to us all.

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