Fed up families plan Victoria Park protest over their ‘lost summer’

Families are planning a protest to highlight their lost summer and the damage caused by commercial music festivals staged in Victoria Park.

They want any future events to be spread out to allow weekend peace and to let the park recover from the tens-of-thousands of spectators who flock to summer events including the Lovebox Weekender, the Underage Festival and Field Day.

Vicky Park is now in the middle of an �11million renovation for next year’s Olympics, which has closed large parts for the rest of 2011.

Families in nearby Old Ford Road are fed up with the damage left behind by the festivals and Victoria Park Friends Group is staging its own event on September 24 to show the public the destruction they say has been left behind.

Its chairman, Richard Desmond, said: “We had nine days of events all bunched together. It would have been better spread out. The park doesn’t get a chance to recover and residents don’t get away from it for weeks.”

The Friends Group handed a 400-name petition to the Town Hall earlier this year demanding the council restrict events and limit finishing times to 10pm.

Earlier this year Tower Hamlets Council members supporting them voted to limit music events to six a year and stop the park being used on consecutive weekends – with at least two weekends free after each festival – in light of Olympics renovations.

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“But the mayor went ahead using executive powers,” Labour Group leader Joshua Peck told the Advertiser.

“Now a large part is unusable for families because of the commercial events.

“This is their back garden, but it’s been trashed. The park has been decimated by greed for revenue.”

A spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council said: “Events can impact on people in the area. But they bring income at a time when our funding has been drastically cut by the government.”

However, nine commercial events have raised only �250,000 for Town Hall coffers which Cllr Peck said was not justified for the summer of disruption they caused.