Gunnersbury Park planning a series of one day concerts this summer

Image above: Gunnersbury Park; photograph Jennifer Griffiths

Gunnersbury Estate, the company which runs Gunnersbury Park, is planning a series of one day events in August, with music from a variety of genres to replace Lovebox. Lovebox ended its five year contract with the park and is taking place in Finsbury Park this summer instead.

“We are talking to a very large concert provider” Gunnersbury Estate’s Chief Executive David Bowler told The Chiswick Calendar. “We’re looking at a series of one day concert events, probably on a single stage, with artists across a broader range of musical genres.”

The Lovebox weekend festival, which took place twice in Gunnersbury Park, was considered an artistic triumph, with big name line-ups on several stages attracting huge crowds of festival goers.

READ ALSO: Lovebox considered a huge cultural success

Image above: Lovebox festival stage

“The Lovebox audience were a hedonistic crowd”

Local residents were less impressed, as the crowds of young people relieved themselves in neighbouring gardens on their way home and left homeowners to collect up buckets of discarded nitrous oxide cannisters.

“The Lovebox audience were a hedonistic crowd” says David. Event organisers rate the people who attend their events with a ‘compliance’ scoring. The Lovebox crowds scored low. There were also some 40,000 of them, which made moving them through the surrounding residential area to get home difficult.

“We are looking at several events, one day concerts for a maximum of 20-25,000 people this time” said David, “and we will move them through more than one transport hub, not just Acton.”

Gunnersbury Estate has to apply for planning permission for the events and submit a major planning application to Hounslow Council.

“Hounslow treats applying to hold a one day gig the same as it does a developer applying to build a block of flats”, which David finds excessive.

“We are a not-for-profit [currently a Community Interest Company but becoming a charity], and we have to spend a lot of money, which is money that would otherwise have gone to the upkeep of the park.”

Other boroughs are more flexible, he says. Hounslow and Ealing are co-owners of the park but it is Hounslow which oversees planning applications.

Image above: Gunnersbury Park; photograph Jennifer Griffiths

More investment needed

Long term he is looking for the councils to invest more in the infrastructure of the park, to provide generators, foul water drainage and lighting so the park can compete competitively with other venues looking to attract event promoters. The only gates the park has wide enough to allow site traffic for building event staging is at the Lionel Rd / Popes Lane end of the park. Events are held in the south of the park so event organisers have to put down about 800 metres of track lay to protect the grass to get their vehicles across it.

“We need long term capital investment to reduce the cost to event organisers and make us more attractive as a venue, and to reduce disruption to residents. The pathways also need redoing. We need to raise millions of pounds to improve the infrastructure.”

Image above: Gunnersbury Park; photograph Jennifer Griffiths

From 1 April Gunnersbury Park will be home to Dino Kingdom, a display of life sized dinosaurs, which move and roar. Friday 1 April –  Monday 18 April. In June it will see the return of an immersive cinema experience from the Secret Group. There is also a pitch and putt area in development.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Gunnersbury Park becomes Jurassic Park

See also: Gunnersbury mini-golf cafe all day drinking opposed

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