Under a new licence agreement with Tower Hamlets Council, All Points East organisers could nearly double events in Victoria Park from 10 to 19 days per year.
The live entertainment company behind All Points East festival has applied for a new premise licence with the council so it can host more events at Victoria Park in East London.
AEG Presents Limited, which is behind the 10-day festival that has seen the likes of Stormzy and The Chemical Brothers headline in the past, will have a new application heard by Tower Hamlets Council’s licensing sub-committee next week on Tuesday 13 February.
The first All Points East festival was in 2018 and for the last three years has taken place during August.
The festival is popular with Londoners and is a mixture of four free-entry community event days and six large-scale music events which typically take place over two weekends.
AEG is applying for a new licence because its previous one was time-limited and ran out in December 2023. It also recently entered a new three-year deal with the council.
According to council documents, the company plans to increase the number of major music event days at the park from six days to 11 and wants to host up to eight days of community events.
Last week Tower Hamlets mayor, Lutfur Rahman and his cabinet entered a new deal with the company which will see it take over areas of the park again between April and September for the next three years (2024, 2025, 2026).
If next week’s licence is approved, AEG plans to host an extra weekend of major music events in either May or June of this year while it intends to add a fourth weekend to its 2025 and 2026 schedules.
The plans follow a November cabinet meeting where members approved a new major events policy which will see the number of large-scale events take place at the park increase from 10 to 12.
The capacity threshold of these events will also increase from 5,000 to 20,000 people but will remain capped at 49,999 people.
The new major events policy concerned a number of opposition councillors while community group, Victoria Park Friends warned it would be ‘detrimental’ to park users and residents.
Responding to AGE’s recent application, the community group said:
‘Our concern is that the Council is prioritising profits over the park and its people. Having an additional 40,000+ people visiting Victoria Park for ten days at a time means the grass and wildlife inevitably suffer. Local residents also have to endure noise, traffic, litter, crowds and restricted access to the park during the summer holidays.
‘The council expects to generate “£1.588m pa from commercial event activity” in 2024 and has committed to spending events money on “parks and open spaces”. Given the mayors commitment to “pro-actively engage with residents and the Friends group”, we are keen to understand how these event funds will be allocated and whether this allocation will directly benefit Victoria Park and/or the local community.’
Mr Rahman previously said the council had ‘no choice’ but to hire out the park as another way of making an income.
A council spokesperson previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that the changes would allow for the council to consider a ‘wider range of events’ and would help to support local businesses.
Next week’s licence application has been slammed by some residents because they are already unhappy with the increased number of people attending and the impact it could have on their neighbourhood.
One resident said in council documents: ‘The application, as you have described it, contains no dates.
‘It simply states the application is for an unspecified number of events for unspecified dates.’
They went on to say: ‘We already suffer enough every summer with the noise from the music festival. The noise is so loud, many residents, including myself, feel obliged to go away for the period of the festival.
‘The park is turned into a building site for over a month, with the constant noise from trucks beeping, building noise, and all-night generators keeping people awake.’
AEG’s application will ultimately be heard by the council’s licensing sub-committee at a meeting on Tuesday 13 February.
For more local news, read More than 160 residents sign petition against extra major event days at Victoria Park.
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