Blackheath Music Festival – details emerge

Blackheath Music Fesitval map
onBlackheath, the organisers of what was previously referred to as the Nimby Music Festival, have just released a PDF, with more details of the proposed festival.

The PDF can be found here.


Filed under blackheath, festival

36 responses to “Blackheath Music Festival – details emerge

  1. JP

    The festival ‘map’ is so small that I cannot read it even with magnification
    and I have a large screen. What’s the point of publishing an unreadable map ?

    • It’s illustrative of the overall document. Which you can download for free. Because I bothered to put it there. If you’ve got your receipt, I’ll be happy to refund you.

      • Alan Burkitt-Gray

        Quite — if you look at the PDF from your link, and click on the magnify button on your computer, you can see the numbers of the flats in Greyladies Gardens. Perfectly possible to read the whole thing. Thanks for posting.

  2. Lisa

    OOh it looks great. I can’t wait! Where is it exactly on the heath? I can’t see the church on the map. Also wonder where the BlackVanilla stand will be I will be setting up shop nearby!!

  3. Nicole

    Why have they decided to have it so close to residents – as opposed to where the fair usually set up or the circus?!
    I live opposite where this venue will be and whilst I go to festivals myself I feel this is not fair on the residents who live near by

  4. MC

    Who’s playing is the big question? Lets pray its not Mumford & Sons and their ilk.

    • CJ

      That really is the most important aspect of this. Everyone’s moaning about having to hear some music but they haven’ t even considered that it might be their favourite ever musicians playing. Sure, it’s unlikely, but you’d feel like a right mug if you got the thing shut down and then realised “Oh. I just exiled my idol”.

      Unless it turns out to be something atrocious, like Mumford and Sons, and then we can all unite in violently shutting the whole thing down by force.

  5. Jennifer Williams

    Horrified by the extent of false info. about Nimby. Council not fully supportive. 2 councillors voted against it. Real concern and worry for residents like us, just in front. Already we had climate campers using our shrubbery as a loo, not to mention the noise of a pop concert.
    this is totally commercial. No benefit for Lewisham Borough, only these would ebe promoters, whose figures in the blurb are totally inaccurate and their nplan lacks accuracy too .

    • Tom

      No benefit to Lewisham Borough? What about the money which the organisers would pay to hold a festival here, which could help to support local services?

      • Gerry Frizzelle

        Sadly, as the directors of Nimby conceded at last Friday’s meeting, it’s not the London Borough of Lewisham but Glendale (who manage the heath on their behalf) who will benefit from any fees paid for holding this event. Glendale is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Parkwood Holdings plc, a FTSE-listed company. They were awarded a new 10-year contract for management of Lewisham parks and gardens, including the heath, just over a year ago.

    • Brian

      The climate camp was illegal and unregulated, this event from what I have read will be fully licensed, will need to meet dozens of conditions and all policing etc paid for by the organisers. So there is no real comparison between the two. Lewisham Council will also benefit financially, these sorts of licenses come at a significant cost to organisers, as will some local businesses.

      • Which makes me wonder if an illegal and unregulated free music festival might have been much more fun… Given that the climate camp didn’t bring the end of Blackheath as we know it…

  6. Nicole

    Do any of you live close to this site? If so you will understand the amount of noise that the peaceful climate camp still generated

    • ThePirateKing

      Noise for about four days. Please be reasonable.

      • Anonymous

        Noise for a “mere” four days? [Actually, two half-days for the popfest.]
        Seems eminently “reasonable”. Tell you what, I’ll play my Black Sabbath records at full volume outside your windows and see how “reasonable” you feel after a mere four hours.

  7. Bob Land

    What I can’t understand is, why are they not holding this Music Festival
    on the Fair Ground Site ?

    Surely this would have affected a lot less of the residents, with regard to

    noise levels etc .

  8. Nick

    Perhaps Greenwich council had the spine to reject it?

  9. paulie

    or they have enough in their borough ?

    you may find they would have taken it as well. They didn’t reject it as it was never put before them.

    This is a piece of common ground for all Londoners, not the personal fiefdom of the Blackheath residents. you might be interested to know that kite flying and dog walking are not allowed in the old bye laws.

    its not about spine, its what the people want. The want a pop concert on blackheath, they may or may not get one Nick. its very difficult to find acts big enough to headline any festival let alone a new one,

    • Michele O'Brien

      “…its what the people want. The want a pop concert on blackheath …”

      Which people, Paulie? The three dozen or so who have posted on here in recent months, almost all anonymously, some of whom live in Blackheath and some of whom appear not to, in support of a pop festival on the heath?

      You can’t say they’re representative of a majority of “the people” in Blackheath or of a majority of people in southeast London or of a majority in London or of a majority anywhere because you simply don’t know.

      And neither do I and neither does anyone else, and that includes the Blackheath Society and Lewisham Council, because nobody has taken a formal sounding (in Blackheath or otherwise) of opinion for and against the planned OnBlackheath festival.

      So how can you assert that “the people” want the OnBlackheath festival? All you’re really saying, Paulie, is that you and “people” who feel like you want it.

      And all that the 12-member management committee of the Blackheath Society, which like you has never formally sounded out opinion on the matter, not even the Society’s own membership, is saying is that it and “people” who feel like it don’t.

      Certainly, there never was any pressure that I’m aware of from anyone in Blackheath or anywhere else for a pop festival to be held on the heath until NIMBY Events Ltd. came along and proposed one.

      • paulie

        I was being slightly tongue in cheek. The court has ruled that the people want it !
        The reality of the situation is the arguments for and against are all fairly vague. I’ve promoted a number of concerts of this size and have seen both sides argue it out before.

        The people who want it will be the ones who buy the tickets. I have spoken with a fair number of people who have a positive view, but that is all very well, it will be the music that attracts them or not.

        There is no reason for Blackheath not to be an option for concerts along with Clapham, Victoria and Finsbury parks. The Blackheath Working groups comment of why not go to these other parks then is just facile.

        I had in fact looked at doing a concert of Blackheath for a number of years and am still looking to do so in the future.

        The is never any pressure for a particular site to be used, It is the artistes who will ultimately decide if Blackheath is right or wrong for them

      • Lots of good points in that post Michelle. :)

  10. Gerry Frizzelle

    Your comments, as ever Michele, get to the nub of the matter: no-one has solicited local opinion on this in any meaningful or reliable way. That would be a very expensive exercise, and none of the interested parties seems minded to pay for it. As for your claim, Paulie, that “The court has ruled that the people want it”, errr…., no they haven’t. Courts don’t run opinion polls, fortunately for most of us. What the two Bromley Magistrates did do is rule that, notwithstanding various failings on the part of the Borough of Lewisham’s officers (notably a decision not to inform their counterparts in Greenwich, in conflict with Lewisham’s own licensing guidelines), Lewisham’s licensing committee did ultimately have the power to grant an alcohol and entertainment licence to Nimby, and that they granted this licence lawfully. That’s hardly a plebiscite, is it?

  11. paulie


    As my reply to Michele, i was being a little tongue in cheek there.

    I think that both sides would not want to run an opinion poll, for fear of the results. I don’t think we could say if there was an overwhelming majority in favour one way or the other, that either Bsoc or Nimby would have backed down anyway.

    I do think South East London has be starved of the ability to stage medium scale outdoor events. It is unlikely there will be enough talent out there for it run every year, contrary to the scaremongering nature of some of the BSoc utterances. As for it opening the floodgates to concerts every week, unless there is some promoters out there with very deep pockets, that will never happen

    The Wireless Hyde park events have not had it easy, and that is much better served by transport. Blackheath will be an alternative venue for artistes who want to play somewhere different.

    As i said before, if those opposing the event had done some proper research and consultation, rather than jumping up and down and pretty much nimbying themselves, they would have put forward a much stronger argument.

    Then again BSoc did have a libdem councillor on there side and as we know they are currently about as much use as a chocolate teapot


  12. paulie

    is it too soon to start a we want slipknot campaign?

  13. Bemused of Blackheath

    I’ve never intentionally had a good word to say about Lewisham council (oh, ok, fireworks) but yet again I’m confused.
    The magistrates criticised Lewisham for not informing their Greenwich counterparts about the application to hold a concert on Blackheath: fine, they obviously should have done but it’s not as though Greenwich didn’t know all about it. The issue was discussed twice, I’m told, at meetings of the Blackheath Joint Working Party at which the BSoc, Greenwich Soc and councillors from both boroughs are represented. Before that, the BJWP would presumably have had the opportunity to quiz Lewisham about the terms of its contract with Glendale and to object to any clauses they happened not to like.
    I can’t help feeling that if the BSoc had sounded out its members for comments and advice it would have held back from risking £84K on legal fees. I also feel that if they had talked constructively to NIMBY, they might have persuaded them to apply to Greenwich instead of Lewisham and the concert would be taking place on an area of the Heath slightly less unsuitable for this type of event.

    • Anonymous

      BlackSoc did talk to members [even if it did not take a full poll] and received overwhelming support for its actions. There was also plenty of opportunity to condemn the committee’s actions at the AGM after the court case.
      A different site such as the Circus Field would certainly have nullified protests but it seems naive to think the the promoters could have been persuaded to to apply to Greenwich instead of Lewisham considering their argument that access to the Army Cadet centre was essential for power/backstage. facilities/etc.

      • ThePirateKing

        The Blackheath Society did not give it’s members a vote or conduct any kind of poll.

      • Anonymous: There was also plenty of opportunity to condemn the committee’s actions at the AGM after the court case.”

        Did anyone? And as a registered charity are you under any kind of obligation to release AGM minutes?

      • ThePirateKing

        This is in reply to Lara Ruffle

        The minutes of the BS AGM are usually a matter of public record. I’d accept that there wasn’t much discussion of the wasted (in my view) £80K at the AGM but I think there are reasons for that. Not least of which is that there were so many other things to discuss including a heated debate about the Olympics in the park which led to a couple of members resigning. I couldn’t get to the AGM myself, and if I could have I probably won’t have gone for fear of being the ranting ‘youth’ at the back.

        When I first heard about the £80K loss, I wrote to the Society (as a member) and complained about the daftness of bringing the action. Something I had already done once done months before in March and to which I had not received a reply. This time I had a reply back from the Chairman very quickly – and I thank him for that. Some points in it were fairly made, others I disagree with strongly. One of them being that the Chairman, Mr Shields, points out to me that as I live “at a distance from the heath” (which is true enough) I wouldn’t have to put up with the disruption. I do live a way from the heath (sadly) but as a subs paying member of the Society surely all members views should be equal? In my view you can’t really take someone’s money and then suggest that they don’t live near enough to have their views matter as much as people who may be lucky enough to live nearer.

        And this all reminds me that I need to write back to him.

        In other areas the BS have done a lot of good for Blackheath. Personally, I’d like to see a lot more events up on the heath (and even more so if I lived closer!) but I realise that is probably not going to be a view shared by all.

  14. paulie

    good points, but i think the festival site would have been on the current site regardless of the greenwich council involvement. The site by the TA building is further away from main roads. As i ‘ve said before this ruling will not open the floodgates for loads of concerts, there just aren’t that many out and out headline groups out there. All the small bespoke festivals have camping as a key feature and that is not the case here.

  15. Michele O'Brien

    I see that the Blackheath Society in its latest on-line news bulletin

    says: “The process of fully granting approval for concerts in future years has a long way to go. The Society will seek to work constructively to ensure that any events cause the minimum possible inconvenience to the community.”

    I wonder what the Society means by that.

    I’m sure the OnBlackheath organizers would like to know, too. They’ve seen £2.25m+plus in prospective overall festival takings this year vanish in a puff of smoke as a result of having to cancel the planned 2011 festival because of the delay caused by the Society’s recently failed legal appeal.

  16. paulie

    The planned festival wasn’t so much cancelled, as was forced out of time to book acts who were not committed elsewhere. It was a delaying tactic by BSoc to hope that it would all go away. Booking headline acts for events of this size need to be done 10-12 months upfront, and clearly 3 months was a non starter

  17. Bemused of Blackheath

    Did anyone from the (incredibly defensive and clearly not interested in winning new hearts and minds) BSoc ever reply to the splendid Ms O’Brien’s question regarding the status of their anonymous apologist? I mean the question about whether Anonymous is a BSoc committee member empowered to speak on the Soc’s behalf or …?

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