Clapham Common gets ready to rock after new music festival confirmed


Residents are concerned about the plans.


By Chelsea Moore

Paul McCartney and Aerosmith could rock out in Clapham Common this summer as Lambeth Council have confirmed a three day summer music festival, despite concerns from residents.

The council have struck a deal with Live Nation, the organisers behind Hard Rock Calling, to host the June 27-29 event which will attract up to 45,000 festival goers each day.

This is double the common’s usual capacity and has stirred up opposition from residents and councillors concerned about the noise, disruption and environmental impact it will have.

“It fills us with absolute fear. The common is just not big enough,” said Melanie Oxley, chairman of the Friends of Clapham Common.

Cllr Shirley Cosgrave, resident and representative of the area, says councillors are ignoring the strength of opposition from locals, instead deciding to use the common as a cash cow.

It has been reported that Lambeth Council hope to raise £1.25 million a year hosting outdoor events after lifting restrictions on a number of events in its open spaces.

“While there may be a very small number of Clapham residents who might enjoy such an event, the overwhelming majority see no advantage at all for them and feel that they are unlikely to derive any benefit from it,” said Cllr Cosgrave.

Remaining optimistic, Cllr Sally Prentice, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, has promised that local businesses will benefit and disruption will be kept to a minimum.

But with some residents living just 200 yards from the stage, there is an obvious concern.

“We are not a field on the Isle of Wight, we’re not the O2 and we’re not even Hyde Park which has got an inner ring road,” said Anna Jefferson Smith, of the Clapham Society.

“It is a really small green space which is vital to the local community.”

Photo courtesy of Chris Reynolds, with thanks.

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