“Gunnersville” – plans for Concerts in September

The organisation behind Lovebox (Festival Republic) is negotiating with the Community Interest Company to hold “concerts” on 6, 7 and 8 September, with the possibility of two more on the following weekend.

We know very little about these events, other than that they will be given on a single stage on the site where Lovebox is set up, with audiences of 12,000 each night. They are being branded as the “Gunnersville” concert series.

No agreement has yet been reached, but Festival Republic are going to start marketing these right away. News of this has been circulated by the Gunnersbury Park Event Team, run by Event Umbrella. The usual procedures will have to be followed – public consultations, applications for licences, planning permission for building work etc. If these fall through (as they did with the Ice Age Mammoth application) it is all at the promoter’s risk.

This element of advanced marketing before an agreement is no way to run a whelk stall. It gives the impression that the CIC is being bounced, because Festival Republic know that the CIC has to supplement or replace its local authority funding. When the Mammoths bid fell through, no matter that it was wholly the fault of the organisers, it still left posters all over the Underground, paragraphs in What’s On magazines, and families gearing up for a fun day out, and created the impression that Gunnersbury was in a bit of a mess. It would be a powerful step in the right direction if the CIC published its own strategy for the nature and quantity of events it wanted in the park, and took charge of attracting them on its own terms.

The news from Lovebox is that the plans are much as we reported on the 5 April. The significant development is that the organisers have appointed Jacqueline Sear to the rôle of the Community Manager. It is a part-time job with significant responsibilities.

The organisers have recognised the failures over stewarding last year and promise “Stewarding improved – earlier start to stewarding operation, more back-ups, more robust stewards in key areas and better supervision and communication”. A second year of failure will cast doubt on their long-term agreement. As the organisers are not publicising any other way of reaching the management of stewards during the three days, we have to assume that it falls to Jacqueline Sear. She can be reached at Jacqueline.Sear@mamaco.com.

Her main responsibilities are:

To act as point of liaison and response between events and local residents during planning, live event days and post-event

  • Attend planning meetings
  • Contact and liaise with local residents groups and businesses
  • Maintain the community website – ensuring information, plans and decisions are communicated
  • Develop and implement plans for complaint logging during live event
  • Ensure timely response to complaints
  • Attend any incidents external to the event site and co-ordinate the event’s response

To identify and manage initiatives and programmes that serve the local community

  • Manage ticket ballot scheme
  • Manage resident permit scheme
  • Liaison point for local residents seeking opportunities to work at or with the events
  • Recruit organisations such as Triple P & Livity to provide programmes within local area
  • Manage charitable activities around the events

There are two more opportunities to hear from and discuss with the organisers of Lovebox – Tuesday 28 May and Monday 24 June (either 6 or 8 pm) – free tickets from www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lovebox-and-citadel-festivals-public-meetings-tickets-56040700243 or http://tinyurl.com/y38rmtnp


James Wisdom

18 May 2019