We have now had the two public consultation meetings about the summer events.
At the first the Secret Group explained how they operated – they won’t be advertising, the news of their event will travel via a social media network. When people book their ticket they will be told what the film will be and how to dress for the occasion. Their tickets will request that they arrive at Acton Town Station at a certain time (around 5 p.m.), and they will be marshalled into the Park. The times will be staggered to diminish congestion. Inside the enclosure will be a large screen and temporary ancillary buildings, for which they will have to get planning permission. They will also have to get an events licence – this is not the same licence as the one which was given to the park last year, with the obligation to space out events. Their application to L B Hounslow is on the web site (at http://tinyurl.com/y8mrmmms) and objectors have until 2nd April to register their views. They expect their event to end around 11.00 as they need to wait until dusk to show the film. The sound will travel towards the M4. The crowd (4,500 people each night) will then be directed back to Acton Town – from previous experience they are not expecting them to be rowdy. It will run for five nights a week (Wed to Sun) from 2nd August to 2nd September and they have promised community and school events during the days. You can see an article and plans about this on the Ealing Today web site, at http://tinyurl.com/ydaxc9qh. They will start work on the site on July 19th and expect to be clear by 7th September.
At the second a team of four from Festival Republic provided a detailed presentation about how they expected to manage the Lovebox and Citadel Festivals over the weekend of 13, 14 and 15 July. They stressed the high level of experience they brought to such events. They promised that a new website about Lovebox and the local community would be launched soon, and the slides of the presentation would be there – this is important as the screen was too small to read them at the event – that there will be a direct email contact with one of the team members if you have any queries and there will be another briefing meeting, probably in June.
They have to comply with the details of the agreements they have signed with the two local authorities and work closely with the onsite management at Gunnersbury. They are discussing details wth TfL and with the police, fire brigade, safety people. They will be working with specialist acoustic consultants in the near future to ensure that they minimise the noise in surrounding areas and plan to marshall the crowds in and out to minimise the impact upon both the Park itself and surrounding neighbours. There will be a ballot for discounted tickets for local people.
Their fee (which was not defined) was described as critical in sustaining the Park during its first year under new management and there will be some community benefits in terms of employment, trading on site and opportunities for young people to learn new skills. Details of their website will be posted here as soon as they are available.
The audience at the Lovebox/Citadel meeting were much more concerned about this event than for the Secret Cinema. There were many questions about the impact of numbers (40,000 each night), rubbish and damage, heavy lorries, drink and drugs, how everyone would leave the site, crossing the North Circular to Acton Town. A lot of the responses were a) we are still working this out with the authorities, b) we have done this many times before and it usually goes very well and c) we want to come back for at least three more years so it is in our interests to make it successful.
If the Community Interest Company does formally take over the management of the Park in April, then the responsibility for these events will fall to David Bowler (the CEO) and his team, even though the agreements were made with the two local authorities. The two Councils have promised that all profits would be ring-fenced for the park and museum.