Tag Archives: music festival

Festival not OnBlackheath this year

Looks like the John Lewis / OnBlackheath music festival on the heath has now been postponed until September 2014, according to this comment from councillor Kevin Bonavia:

Lewisham Council has just been notified by OnBlackheath that they have decided not to go ahead with the event this year. I understand that OnBlackheath are now working on plans for September 2014, which we are likely to hear more about towards the end of this year.

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Blackheath Festival Abandoned for 2011

Michelle O’Brien writes that Nimby won’t go ahead with the On Blackheath festival this year:

Organisers of the planned OnBlackheath pop festival this summer said on Monday (May 16th) that they will almost certainly now have to abandon it after Bromley Magistrates ordered yet another adjournment in hearing Blackheath Society’s appeal against the event.

“We are desperately disappointed,” NIMBY Events Ltd. director Tom Wates said after the Magistrates adjourned the hearing of the Society’s appeal, this time until 29 June.

Monday was the 5th day of the hearings. They began on the 3rd of March.

But Mr. Wates said on Monday that if the Magistrates did finally throw out the Society’s appeal, NIMBY would be back again with a new bid to stage the open-air two-day festival on the Heath in September 2012.

Among the class of stars NIMBY had been looking to feature at the festival this Sept. 10 and 11 year were Adele and Mumford & Sons. NIMBY had been planning on attracting audiences of 25,000 on each of the planned festival’s two days, charging £45 per ticket per day.

Mr. Wates and his wife own the Noa Noa dress shop in Blackheath Village.

Earlier on Monday, Peter Gadsdon, head of Lewisham Council’s Strategy and Performance department and chairman of the Council’s Safety Advisory Group, had told the two Magistrates hearing the appeal: “Mr. Wates indicated that the event would not go ahead unless there was a decision today.”

Fellow NIMBY director Alex Wicks said that as a result of the Society’s legal bid to block the festival the three parties involved – NIMBY, the Society and Lewisham Council – had together been involved in spending “a ridiculous amount of money, far too much” on legal fees. Each of the three is represented in court by a barrister.

Mr. Wicks said a guesstimate for the total for the three would be £200,000. “It’s a significant amount of money which could have been put to better use than this”.

He said NIMBY has financial backing from a venture capital group. Blackheath Society, meanwhile, has appealed to its
members to dig into their pockets to help fund its legal costs. As a Council, Lewisham’s legal costs are met by local council tax payers.

The presiding Magistrate, Mr. Roger Mills, told the court on Monday: “This appeal was originally listed for two days” (March 3rd and 4th). “But here we are half way through Day 5 and Day 6 is looming.”

But he said that because of “the enormous amount of evidence” from the hearings that the two Magistrates would have to plough through there could be no final decision in the case until some unspecified time after June 29th.

At an earlier hearing, Mr. Wates had indicated continuing uncertainty over the outcome of the Society’s appeal was causing NIMBY major headaches, including booking artists. He said neither artists nor some of the contractors NIMBY wanted to use would enter into discussions until they knew for certain that the festival was going ahead.

Recognised as one of the most powerful local groups of its kind in the country, Blackheath Society bills itself as the “Guardians of the Heath.” But local blogs show overwhelming support for OnBlackheath especially among younger people.

The Society’s appeal is against a ruling by Lewisham Council’s licensing sub-committee that gave the go-ahead for NIMBY to stage the festival annually this year and in perpetuity, with sale of alcohol.

Many thanks to Michelle for sending this in. I’ve always been in two minds about the festival to be honest – never quite decided which side of the fence to land… But it is clear that many people commenting here and on other local blogs (such as the excellent 853blog), feel strongly that the Society may have mis-judged the local mood this time.

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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.

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NIMBY Pop Festival on the Heath?

During the Blackheath Climate Camp, photo by Indymedia
After the Blackheath Climate Camp, photo by Indymedia

The mysterious NIMBY Events Ltd are planning a two day pop festival to be held every year in approximately the same place as the Climate Camp (but bigger). The first one is due to take place on September 10th-11th. Lewisham Council have approved the alcohol license (PDF should be here, but has disappeared). Glendale, the contractors who manage the park for Lewisham Council also approve of the deal. The Blackheath Joint Working Party have considered – and rejected the idea twice, but NIMBY continued with the application to the council despite this.

The Blackheath Society are now planning to fight this in the courts, and seem very opposed to it – as can be seen on the front page of their website.

There is another meeting of the Blackheath Joint Working Party on Thursday 3rd February, 7.30pm, in St Michael’s Church Hall, Blackheath Park, 1 Pond Road, SE3 9JL, where the plans will be discussed further.

I can’t help thinking that Twitter user ladywormhill could have a point:

The Climate Camp was unquestionably a successful event held on the heath. These would be paying punters, who wouldn’t tidy up after themselves, but the organisers would have to deal with this. The heath is a big place, and many smaller parks hold similar festivals occasionally without the sky falling on their heads. Opposing it outright seems to summon up images of a rather stuffy form of Nimbyism (unfortunate choice of name by the promoters)… Maybe the solution would be to grant a single license for one year, on the understanding that any additional year would also have to be approved.

Or I suppose the mysterious NIMBY events group could just do what the protesters did, and turn up without permission, assuming they wanted a free rave on the heath, not a profitable enterprise. I’m sure either outcome would be great for local businesses, and is arguably similar to what used to happen on the heath regularly a few centuries ago. UPDATE: Come to think of it, part of the heath was closed for a day recently to allow a golf tournament.

Photos showing before and after the Climate Camp, by Indymedia. If anyone knows anything more about the mysterious Nimby Events, please let me know.

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