The Committee of the Friends of Brockwell Park (FOBP), at a special meeting held on 4 December, unanimously decided to oppose applications for two major events, proposed for summer 2018, as being of a scale wholly unsuited to a small urban park such as Brockwell.
The FOBP’s principal objections to Field Day/The Mighty Hoopla (1-3 June) and Love Box/Citadel (13-15 July) being allowed to come to Brockwell Park are:
1 Exclusion of local community: these events, each of which stands to make their organisers £6 million revenue, have little benefit to the local community whose council taxes pay for the park. They will damage Brockwell Park’s offer of a safe and free haven for the young and the old, whatever their income, for families, for sportspeople, for dog walkers, and the mentally fragile—and summer is a particularly special time for many.
2 Size of area taken: fencing off between a third and a half of the terrain, the events will be a gigantic intrusion into our beloved park, the like of which we have never seen.
3 Length of occupancy: there will be 46 days of event occupation (buildup, event and breakdown) out of 67 days between 20 May and 25 July, including half term/holidays.
4 Noise levels: Lambeth Council is permitting highest decibel levels from 12 noon to 10.30pm, deafening in the park, deeply disturbing and intrusive for a large area outside it.
5 Environmental impact: the footfall of 40-45,000 visitors a day for six days, plus the many heavy vehicles installing and dismantling these events over 46 days in three major months of summer is an intolerable burden on the ecology of the park, even in good weather. If there is bad weather, the damage will be horrendous. The impact on Brockwell Park’s rich wildlife of these 46 days of disturbance is of deep concern to the Friends.
‘Parks are not money trees for private companies or cash-strapped councils,’ said FOBP Chair, Peter Bradley. ‘Of course those who can afford it should enjoy open air concerts of the music they like, but not in a small urban park such as Brockwell. It just does not have the capacity to host such gigantic events. We oppose them utterly.’