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London’s parks set for 2018 festival boom

New events in Victoria Park, Brockwell Park, Finsbury Park and Clapham Common look set to further cement London's status as the live music capital of Europe

By Jon Chapple on 24 Oct 2017

The Weeknd, Wireless 2017, Finsbury Park, Festival Republic, James Bridle

The Weeknd performs at Wireless 2017 in Finsbury Park

image © James Bridle for Wireless

London’s parklands and open spaces are gearing up for a huge 2018 festival summer, following a slate of new announcements – and with more events believed to be in the pipeline.

In the last 24 hours alone, AEG announced the launch of a new ten-day event, All Points East, following its securing a multi-year contract for exclusive use of Victoria Park in Bow, east London, for events, while rival Festival Republic revealed it is adding a headline show by Liam Gallagher to its programming for Finsbury Park next year, alongside the existing Wireless and Community Festivals.

AEG’s exclusivity on the 213-acre Victoria Park leaves at least three festivals by other promoters without a home for 2018, with Eat Your Own Ears’ Field Day already confirming it will be “upping sticks” for an as-yet-unannounced location elsewhere in London.

Both Field Day and Live Nation/Mama’s Lovebox and Citadel festivals are rumoured to be decamping to Brockwell Park in Brixton, south London, in 2018, where they would share the 26-acre space with indie events such as Sunfall Festival and Gala Brixton.

In addition to Wireless, Community and Liam Gallagher’s As You Were, Festival Republic has applied to Haringey Council for permission to stage a “music event” with a daily capacity of 20,000 from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 May. (A spokesperson for the promoter declined to comment.)

Festival Republic has applied for permission to stage a “music event” with a daily capacity of 20,000 from 4–6 May

Also in Finsbury Park, council minutes reveal Slammin’ Events plans to reprise its Southport Weekender/Tranz-mission and Hospitality/Abode in the Park events in 2018, with the festivals pencilled in for 9–10 June and 22–23 September.

Back in south London, meanwhile, Lambeth Council has given permission for an “unprecedented” 110 event days on Clapham Common in future, paving the way for new events to join the likes of SW4, Let’s Rock and Madness’s House of Common, while Crosstown Concerts has confirmed OnBlackheath will return to the park of the same name next year following a successful debut event this summer.

Finally, in Hyde Park – a grade I-listed, 350-acre royal park in Westminster, and London’s most famous – AEG has exclusive rights to produce festivals until at least 2019. And with almost half a million people attending its flagship British Summer Time event in 2017 alone, don’t bet against that relationship lasting well into the 2020s…

After IQ revealed in September that London is by far Europe’s leading city for live music, and the third biggest in the world, mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the city’s “incredible nightlife” and called London a “powerhouse for music”.


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