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Objector gets steamed up over plans for veggie food festival coming to Victoria Park

PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:44 02 October 2020

Getting ready for one 'veg in the park' event... but will Covid emergency stop it coming to Victoria Park in 2021? Picture: Veg In The Park

Getting ready for one 'veg in the park' event... but will Covid emergency stop it coming to Victoria Park in 2021? Picture: Veg In The Park

Veg In The Park

Next summer’s first vegetarian food festival planned in Victoria Park could be off the menu if the Covid crisis isn’t over by then, Tower Hamlets Council’s legal advisor has warned.

Veg In The Park... community project near Manchester. Picture: Oldham CouncilVeg In The Park... community project near Manchester. Picture: Oldham Council

Organisers have asked for the green light to add to their green vegetable show “once the virus is under control”.

The proposed festival, which has met one objection so far, has been running at venues up and down the country for the past 20 years.

Now it could come to Vicky Park in 2021 for the first time—as long as the pandemic is over by then.

Organiser Neil Levene has asked for a music licence to stage live entertainment for up to 3,000 veggie fans.

“We couldn’t stage it this year because of the emergency,” he told the council’s licensing sub-committee.

“Victoria Park is the only suitable venue in east London, but there are strict safety measures to meet.”

The committee has received one objection to the week-long event going ahead next year, from a woman living near the park.

But the promotor assured council members that his company has been running events for 20 years without incident.

Up to 3,000 tickets would be sold in advance for the Veg In The Park festival where people would sample vegetarian dishes from 20 restaurants taking part. Exhibitors would give cookery demos in afternoon and evening sessions and live music would be staged by east London artists followed by a headline act.

“We’re hoping the guidelines will change by 2021,” Mr Levene added. “At the moment we don’t expect to be able to hold the festival and won’t plan it in the present circumstances, only once the virus is under control and conditions allow.”

The Covid regulations would prevent gatherings of 3,000 people if the guidelines are still in place next year, the council’s legal advisor told committee members.

The organisers were due to stage 13 events this year—all having been cancelled.

The “Veg in the Park Festival” is a working title inspired by community projects around the country such as the venture started two years ago at Oldham in Greater Manchester. Other community vegetable-growing projects include gardens in Shadwell on spare land next to the DLR and Fenchurch railway arches along Cable Street.


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