Lloyd Park locals confront council vacuum over two-day ‘rave’

‘Mini-Glastonbury’: Garage Nation is being staged in Lloyd Park this weekend

For the second time this summer, Croydon Council has caused anger among the people they are meant to serve, with wide-ranging complaints from residents living in and around Lloyd Park they have had little or no information about a major event for thousands of “ravers” being staged on their doorstep this weekend.

Garage Nation returns to Croydon on Saturday and Sunday, with an event where an expected 8,000 “ravers” (their word, not ours) are paying up to £70 per ticket for a festival of grime and garage music, drum and bass and jungle, with around 100 acts to perform across three stages, plus fairground attractions, food stalls and a whole lot of sun…

Performances are supposed to run from noon until 10pm on Saturday, and from noon until 9pm on Sunday.

Another event, MattsBBQ, which was staged on Purley Way playing fields earlier in the summer, attracted widespread complaints from residents, who felt the council had failed to inform them of the impending arrival of thousands of party-goers, together with the traffic and disruption they would create.

The council was also slated for failing to provide adequate staff at the weekend to monitor traffic and parking, and a lack of adequate policing for such a large event.

Top line-up: Garage Nation is supposed to feature 100 acts across three arenas in Lloyd Park

But Town Hall chiefs have failed to learn any lessons, and the council has presented residents living in and around Lloyd Park, as well as regular park users from across south London, with an information vacuum ahead of this weekend’s sold-out event.

Garage Nation has staged events in Croydon before, with a “mini-Glastonbury” held in Addington Park in August 2021.

Then, the local police were underwhelmed by the prospect, and there were the expected issues around unauthorised car parking (the organisers specify festival-goers should not drive to this weekend’s festival), littering, some people urinating in private gardens, and drug use. But in the main, Garage Nation 2021, with around 11,000 attendees, passed off reasonably peacefully.

No notice: a kids’ Parkrun had to be cancelled on Sunday as fencing went up for Garage Nation

For Garage Nation 2022, they’ve moved to the broader expanses of Lloyd Park (albeit with the after-party planned for somewhere in trendier Brixton), but with a smaller number of tickets available. By the start of August, the organisers announced that they had sold out for Saturday’s event.

Fencing went up last week around the main area of the park, close to the café and tram stop. Regular events, like the weekly kids’ Junior Parkrun, were forced to cancel without notice. Small businesses, such as the people who run the café, have also been left in the dark.

Jade Appleton, the Tory councillor for Park Hill and Whitgift, had been lobbying the council for more information from her hospital bed (the councillor is now recovered). But she did not seem to be successful in getting much response either from council staff, nor from the Garage Nation organisers, despite their offer to provide tickets to residents.

Several who contacted Garage Nation to take them up on their offer said that they had no reply.

Sell-out: the organisers’ announcement a fortnight ago

“I’m aware residents and groups have expressed concerns around the Lloyd Park festival this weekend,” Appleton tweeted this week.

“I’ve chased up security for the café, expressed concern about lack of resident engagement and response from [the organisers].”

One factor – or is it Factor 10? – which does not appear to have been given much consideration by the Garage Nation organisers is their restrictions on their festival-goers from bringing in fluids, including water bottles, or even sun cream to the event that is being staged in the middle of a Met Office-declared heatwave.

The Crystal Palace Park Trust last night announced it was cancelling its scheduled public activities in its park for the rest of this week because of the amber health warnings issued by the authorities over the high temperatures.

Garage Nation, meanwhile, with so many tickets sold, appears to be pressing ahead with their event.

“No liquids or sprays can be brought in,” the FAQs on their website states, “as these all have to be checked before entry and can hold up entry times.” Good to see they have their priorities sorted.

“There will be complimentary perfumes and deodarant [sic] sprays available at the merchandise stand.” Which is nice, but hardly much help in reducing possible cases of sunburn or heat stroke in the anticipated 35-degree temperatures.

The organisers say that they will be providing tap water from their bar areas.

“100ml of sun cream is allowed to be brought in, this will need to be tested on yourself before entry,” the organisers say, obligingly.

This might prove to be one music festival staged in Croydon where the ravers end up getting more heated than the residents.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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20 Responses to Lloyd Park locals confront council vacuum over two-day ‘rave’

  1. Where’s the Mayor?

    Last time the bands were blaring out amplified music to be heard a kilometre or more away, with language we are sheltered from in broadcasting and print! I am not being prim but I could understand a parent of young children living nearby being a little concerned.

    But perhaps what occurrs to me as I pass the site every morning is the fire risk – let us hope there is a fire engine and tender on site, but I doubt there will be. Why don’t they hold it in the disaster that they have created in The Queen’s Garden, rather than in a vulnerable enviroment, at a particularly dangerous moment.

    • Not just the plastic-selling part-time Mayor but several members of his extensive, well-paid but silent Cabinet:

      Statutory Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Homes – Councillor Lynne Hale
      Cabinet Member for Finance – Councillor Jason Cummings
      Cabinet Member for Children and Young People – Councillor Maria Gatland
      Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care – Councillor Yvette Hopley
      Cabinet Member for Community Safety – Councillor Ola Kolade
      Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration – Councillor Jeet Bains
      Cabinet Member for Streets and Environment – Councillor Scott Roche
      Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture – Councillor Andy Stranack

      What are they doing for the extra £2291.93 (£2529.40 to Lynne Hale) we pay them each month?

      • Robert Smith says:

        Well I’d hope they aren’t doing anything on licensing. Because that would be the responsibility of the Labour controlled licensing committee. Maybe take it up with Karen Jewitt the committee chair instead? (She’s paid £687.20 a month to serve as licensing chair).

        • Are you sure it’s her?

          Looking up the council’s clear-as-mud website, putting on a major event in a public park doesn’t need the OK from the Licensing Committee.

          Their guide to “Organising safe and successful events in Croydon” and its paragraph on the “Approval Process By Croydon Borough Council” says

          The stages of the application process are:

          • Pre consultation with the council’s events office (large events only)
          • Application form to Croydon Council
          • Consultation with Safety Advisory Group (where required)
          • Consent granted, subject to planning documents
          • Planning meetings with relevant partners/agencies
          • Event
          • Debrief

          Maybe a councillor in the know can clarify who’s in charge.

  2. James Seabrook says:

    Sorry to be cynical but this sounds like Croydon Council all over: a joke.

    I don’t see how bringing in plastic water bottles can be a problem particularly if they’re providing tap water on site (if indeed, that is true). Something tells me this is all about making as much money as possible by whatever means available. And not allowing sun cream? I thought the buck would stop with general food and drink but obviously not so.

    To not inform residents is shocking and deceitful. How can you have a council supposedly covering environmental noise when they are condoning the very same with no notice?

  3. Susan Williams says:

    Lloyd Park is a public park it’s not an extension of some peoples front or back gardens. Cities need cultural events, they need places where people can enjoy communal events, let off steam and engage with others – Lloyd Park fits the bill.

    Please, no more of these moany NIMLPs. (Not in my local park)

    • Hazel swain says:

      your front garden is the venue for next year then ?

    • David White says:

      I broadly agree with you Susan. It’s important that the park can be enjoyed by diverse communities and people with varying tastes so far as music is concerned. But there needs to be information to local people and plans for dealing with issues like parking (not everyone will come by tram). This was done successfully for the ENDS Festival a few years ago and I hope it will be this time.

    • Harry Heron says:

      Local parks are not there for money making ventures, sources of noise pollution and worse. They’re PUBLIC amenities and should not be closed off to the public. These sort of events should be held on private property or concert venues. Where’s Perry?

  4. Annette carter says:

    And what about the increased risk of fire!!

  5. At a previous park event the roads to the south of the park were well marshalled. Noise intrusion seemed to be a lot worse to the north than to the south of the park.

    I did go and check a lot to see if there was trouble.

  6. Jonathan Bone says:

    As a local resident normally we get prior notification of events and information regarding road closures etc. For this event we have received no notifications at all. I don’t begrudge the park being used for events like this but I would like some heads up.

    • Jonathan Bone says:

      Actually we did finally get a notification on the Thursday evening for the event starting on Saturday. VC

  7. Michelle Ann says:

    I am pleased to say I have been notified of the event, but I would like to know what they are doing about the deer in the park. Last time there was an event there, the petrified deer ran all around local streets (I believe one was killed), and one leapt into our garden, couldn’t get out, and caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to plants.

  8. Anita Smith says:

    just as a matter of interest, there are covenants on Lloyd park stating what can and cannot be carried out there. The one that should concern us is that no charges (money) can be enforced for the park. It is an open space, free to all. If that is the case, then £70 tickets seem to be in breach of the covenants.

    I received notification of this event over- night, a little late in the day to try and escape two days of window-shaking, head-banging music, and I live near Addiscombe Road, a fair distance away. How near do you have to live to be considered a NIMBY? As Andrew Pelling says, the noise is often worse to the north of the park, and will seem even louder with doors and windows open in the current hot weather.

  9. Hazel swain says:

    the event is happening . I live 2.5 miles away and I can still hear it in my house !!! must be hell for those living any closer ..

  10. Theresa Staunton says:

    I live on Brownlow Road , We could hear the event as it was hot and we wanted to spend time in the Garden. The noise was not excessive , only getting louder in the early part of the evenings . lots of participation singing along. Both days the music stopped to the second that it said it would . I am glad young people enjoyed the event and our park of which huge swathes were still available to everyone who wanted to use it .

  11. Laurence Ager says:

    Great event. Really well organised and a friendly well-behaved crowd. It was a bit too quiet in the main arena – needed a lot more bass. It ended a bit early too which was a shame. Please take note Croydon Council. Let’s have even bigger and better events in future.

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