Pagoda at Victoria Park © Stephen Catchpole

Tower Hamlets Council proposes increased capacity of more than 20,000 for major events in Victoria Park

Local community group Victoria Park Friends has said that the proposed changes would be ‘detrimental’ to park users and residents.

In the next cabinet meeting on Wednesday 29 November, Tower Hamlets Council will debate whether to increase the number of major events allowed in Victoria Park, from 10 to 12 a year. The Cabinet will also debate whether major events should have an increased capacity of at least 20,000 guests.

Councillor Iqbal Hossain, the Cabinet member for Culture and Recreation, is proposing a review of the current Major Events Policy for Victoria Park. According to the 2021 policy, a major event is defined as an event with an attendance of more than 5,000 people. 

On Wednesday 29 November, Cabinet will consider his proposal to increase the capacity threshold for a major event from 5,000 persons at any one time to 20,000 at any one time

The number of ‘major events’ allowed to occur in Victoria Park is currently capped by the Council at 10 per annum. Meanwhile, gatherings of a similar size are classed as ‘large events’ in other London venues such as Hyde Park and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and are therefore subject to fewer restrictions. 

Local community group Victoria Park Friends has expressed concern regarding the proposed shift to the Major Events Policy. In a statement addressed to Cllr Hossain and Catherine Boyd, Head of Arts, Parks, and Events, it  said:

‘We believe increasing the size and frequency of events would be detrimental to park users and residents.’

The group’s statement says that the policy change would cause detrimental scheduling and unavoidable noise for local residents, who wouldn’t be able to avoid major events easily. 

It said: ‘Ideally, large capacity events would take place in Victoria Park early in the season, for example, All Points East was in May 2019. However, in recent years, 40+ acres of central parkland have been fenced off for five (of the six) weeks of school holidays, when the park’s open spaces are most needed.’

According to Cllr Hossain, the policy shift would benefit the local economy and support the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) through revenue generation.

With a £40 million budget to balance, live events such as All Points East and Field Day Festival are important sources of income for the borough. At a time when several councils across England are at risk of bankruptcy, questions have been raised about the long-term sustainability of Tower Hamlets Council’s budget. 

If you want to have your say regarding changes to our local area, there are several ways of getting involved in local democracy, from submitting a petition to contacting your local councillor. 

Cabinet meetings are held on a monthly basis on Wednesdays in Tower Hamlets Town Hall on Whitechapel Road and are open for the public to attend. 

Every meeting begins with a 15-minute time slot where members of the public may put questions to the Mayor and Cabinet Members before the main agenda commences. 

If you can’t make the meeting, you can watch online via the webcast available on the council’s website, where recordings of prior meetings are available. 

If you have any questions about participating in local democracy, email the Democratic services officer at

For more about Victoria Park, read Victoria Park: the people’s park of East London.

Your local news is at risk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.