|Fury Over Gunnersbury Park Festival Disruption|
Not music to the ears of residents as 40,000 attend Lovebox and Citadel events
Residents across Acton, Brentford, Chiswick and Ealing have complained furiously about the noise levels, litter, access to the park for non-Festival goers, and what some have described as the "shambles" surrounding the Lovebox and Citadel Festivals in Gunnersbury Park this weekend.
Music from the event could be clearly heard over a mile away and closer to the park the noise levels were described as 'unbearable'.
Local Councillor Joanna Biddolph was kept busy with complaints from residents all day, including an irate resident who found twelve portaloos against their wall (see image below).
She said that she had spoken to several residents, and local businesses, in the Gunnersbury Park Garden Estate conservation area and it appeared that people on the other side, along Lionel Road North were "in torture" due to the noise.
She told of one couple (in their 70s and 80s) who found Friday's continuous loud beat and the flow of the huge crowd headache-inducing quite early on; their house is parallel to Gunnersbury Park so they couldn’t even retreat to a back room - their back room is side-on to the park.
On the other hand, most people were sanguine about the noise, she said and it was the relentless flow of the massive crowd that has had the biggest effect.
"Forty thousand people walking along Gunnersbury Lane was hugely intrusive. Several people do not want to see the festival here again."
Another complaint was the amount of litter, despite the very hard working litter pickers.
"Where we feel we’ve been failed is in the collections of the litter-pick-filled black sacks and the bins which needs to be improved. So does the Residents’ Line which consists of one line staffed by one person - it’s not enough. Road blocks have not been signed, staffed or managed efficiently; stewards have been badly briefed and blag their way out of tricky questions which is infuriating. The Lovebox management were responsive but I think that some of the issues could have been predicted and proper management put in place. "
On the plus side, she said that most of the local local shops had seem an increase in business.
Following scores of complaints, the management of the park was forced to take to Twitter to defend itself saying, "We acknowledge that the festival will disrupt some use of the park temporarily but this high quality, popular cultural event is providing entertainment to our local residents and building awareness of Gunnersbury on a scale we would struggle to achieve otherwise. The festival will generate income, 100% of which is put back into Gunnersbury, without which we wouldn’t be able to maintain the park or the museum."
Complaints were made about noise levels from as far away as Chiswick and even Brentford. Tweets said:
"Moving LoveBox to West was the dumbest idea"
"NOT A GOOD START TO @LoveboxFestival!! Just had to pay £20 to store my camera in a locker which was in a bag under A4 size!! Did not see this written in the guidelines!"
"How can Gunnersbury Park possibly be open as normal, when the majority of it is closed or unavailable to Park users?" Another complained . " Let's be honest our parks are being used as cash cows!"
The organisers are using the same company that handled the Mela event. The proposal was unpopular with local residents who had concerns over noise, and potential anti-social behaviour but the Gunnersbury Park CIC (set up to run the festival on behalf of councils in Ealing and Hounslow) argued that commercial events are necessary because of centralised funding cutbacks. You can join in the discussion on our Ealing forum
There was also traffic congestion due to Popes Lane being closed between North Circular and Gunnersbury Drive with access only for London buses and the service station. Gunnersbury Lane was closed between 8pm - 1am from North Circular to Bollo Lane on a daily basis.
Parking was suspended for both residents and non-residents on Gunnersbury Drive, North and South of Gunnersbury Lane from North Circular to Bollo Road and on both sides of Popes Lane from North Circular to South Ealing Road.
Full diversion and road closure maps can be found in this presentation online (pdf).
- Residents’ Line: 07932 526 040 or email@example.com
July 15, 2018