Plans for field festival in Stanmer Park met by strong protests

A muddy Stanmer Park after Shakedown last year

A muddy Stanmer Park after Shakedown last year

First published in News

Campaigners will present a petition to councillors to try to block plans for a music festival at a popular park.

A total of 710 people have signed a letter pleading with Brighton and Hove City Council to refuse permission for this year’s Shakedown Festival in Stanmer Park.

Last year’s event, on October 6, left the park a mudbath, with locals claiming that the site is yet to recover.

The petition will be presented to the council’s economic development and culture committee on Thursday, January 10 with a final decision on whether the festival will be approved due by the end of the month.

Protesters are already concerned that organisers plan to add an extra day to the event for 2013.

Jamie Hooper, from the Friends of Stanmer Park, said: “The council’s attitude is ‘Well it’s ok, it will all get sorted out in the wash and we can always get money from the organisers later’.

“But that’s not right. The site is no better than it was in October when they left.

“I know we have had appalling weather, but I haven’t seen anyone making any effort to get the ground back to the way it was.”

'Negative reaction'

Jenny Lyon, who will present the petition to the committee, claimed that residents were assured that once American Express Community Stadium was built there would be no further festivals held in the park.

The council confirmed that organisers have applied to hold the festival over the weekend of September 28 and 29.

In a report to the committee, officers said: “Shakedown has attracted some negative reaction, post event, due to the condition of the park.

“The organisers continue to work with City Parks and their own contractors to reinstate the park to its pre event condition as soon as possible, bearing the cost of this reinstatement.

Wet summer

“2012 was an extraordinary wet year with parks and open spaces across the country experiencing similar experiences.”

Shakedown said the 17,000 people last year contributed around £250,000 directly to the Brighton and Hove economy and a further £250,000 indirectly to city businesses such as hotels and after-party venues.

Geoffrey Bowden, the chair of the council committee, said that they were “continuing discussions with all interested parties” over this year’s event, adding he expected an agreement to be made by “the end of the month”.

Talking point: How concerned are you about music festivals taking place in Stanmer Park? Should the park continue to be used as an outdoor venue in the summer, or kept as a haven for wildlife?

Share your views by commenting below or submit your opinion to The Argus letters pages by emailing letters@theargus.co.uk

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Comments (19)

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12:56pm Tue 8 Jan 13

NickBrt says...

That plan would discriminate against travellers who are, after all, the rightful users of that park.
That plan would discriminate against travellers who are, after all, the rightful users of that park. NickBrt
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Jetsamandflotsam says...

I had assumed that the shakedown promoters had gone bust leading to the muddy mess they left behind still not having being sorted out.
They can't blame the weather!
It is such a shame to see Stanmer Park in its current poor state it has really gone down hill over the last few years
I had assumed that the shakedown promoters had gone bust leading to the muddy mess they left behind still not having being sorted out. They can't blame the weather! It is such a shame to see Stanmer Park in its current poor state it has really gone down hill over the last few years Jetsamandflotsam
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Mr_Tom says...

why don't the hold it at the AMEX? surely this would actually have some toilets too..
I attended the festival and it was a shambles.. the toilet lines were so long it was quicker for me to go home!
and what a stupid time of year to have a festival anyway..
why don't the hold it at the AMEX? surely this would actually have some toilets too.. I attended the festival and it was a shambles.. the toilet lines were so long it was quicker for me to go home! and what a stupid time of year to have a festival anyway.. Mr_Tom
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Tue 8 Jan 13

aat99 says...

Stick all these events at the AMEX .... then it will be easier to clean up etc etc ... rather than ruin our parks and seafront with all the damage and broken glasss .....

wasn't this one of the selling points of the AMEX that it could be used for this type of event as well ????
Stick all these events at the AMEX .... then it will be easier to clean up etc etc ... rather than ruin our parks and seafront with all the damage and broken glasss ..... wasn't this one of the selling points of the AMEX that it could be used for this type of event as well ???? aat99
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Tue 8 Jan 13

9 of us says...

Ironic that the AMEX had major opposition of spoiling the views from the Souths Downs National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Stanmer Park is within the South Downs and yet there appears to be little or no concern shown here.
Ironic that the AMEX had major opposition of spoiling the views from the Souths Downs National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Stanmer Park is within the South Downs and yet there appears to be little or no concern shown here. 9 of us
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Hoarder12345444 says...

I have to agree here, Stanmer park is one of my favrourite Brighton parks and was ruined at shakedown. I went to it and was a bit rubbish anyway. You had people Pi***ing everywhere you could see, rubbish strewn everywhere and loads of mud. Not been there since actually, might go there and see how it fares now. I suspect it's still a mess. It will grow back in the spring but I don't think they should have it there. Whilst its a good location, most festival goers are pill popping freaks with no regard for anyone. As for the cheap cans of cider being sold at £4 a can, that was disgusting. I will refuse to go just because of that.
I have to agree here, Stanmer park is one of my favrourite Brighton parks and was ruined at shakedown. I went to it and was a bit rubbish anyway. You had people Pi***ing everywhere you could see, rubbish strewn everywhere and loads of mud. Not been there since actually, might go there and see how it fares now. I suspect it's still a mess. It will grow back in the spring but I don't think they should have it there. Whilst its a good location, most festival goers are pill popping freaks with no regard for anyone. As for the cheap cans of cider being sold at £4 a can, that was disgusting. I will refuse to go just because of that. Hoarder12345444
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Phani Tikkala says...

It contributed half a million quid to the B&H economy? PMSL
It contributed half a million quid to the B&H economy? PMSL Phani Tikkala
  • Score: 0

4:43pm Tue 8 Jan 13

bruce_ says...

Alleged contributions to the local economy won't do as a justification, if it is correct that last year's festival had so many undesirable features -- and above all, left the park in a bad state. Yes, what is the Amex stadium for, apart from football of course, if not for such events? (Otherwise, why not use the Pavilion Gardens, or at least the Level? That would make money for B & H too, wouldn't it?)
Alleged contributions to the local economy won't do as a justification, if it is correct that last year's festival had so many undesirable features -- and above all, left the park in a bad state. Yes, what is the Amex stadium for, apart from football of course, if not for such events? (Otherwise, why not use the Pavilion Gardens, or at least the Level? That would make money for B & H too, wouldn't it?) bruce_
  • Score: 0

5:45pm Tue 8 Jan 13

sussexguy says...

Well, slavery was profitable, but that did not make it right.
Well, slavery was profitable, but that did not make it right. sussexguy
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Tue 8 Jan 13

george smith says...

Brighton parks are too often out of use to ordinary local council tax payers, be it travellers or events. Could parks just no be parks, not events arenas or sheep farms?
Brighton parks are too often out of use to ordinary local council tax payers, be it travellers or events. Could parks just no be parks, not events arenas or sheep farms? george smith
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Tue 8 Jan 13

pekkers says...

Or Withdean....... Easy to convert for a gig......
Or Withdean....... Easy to convert for a gig...... pekkers
  • Score: 0

7:00pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Here we go again says...

Here we go again says.
Why oh why does a so called Green Council allow Stanmer Park, Brighton's Jewel in it crown to be repeatedly trashed as it was last Oct following a festival. It is a designated Nature Reserve the reason given by Brighton & Hove Council for doing that was that by designating it as a Nature Reserve it would have greater protection!!!!
If that is what our councils call protection I dread to think what isn't protection.
Oh Evening Argus just a small correction The Friends of Stanmer Park no longer exists.
Here we go again says. Why oh why does a so called Green Council allow Stanmer Park, Brighton's Jewel in it crown to be repeatedly trashed as it was last Oct following a festival. It is a designated Nature Reserve the reason given by Brighton & Hove Council for doing that was that by designating it as a Nature Reserve it would have greater protection!!!! If that is what our councils call protection I dread to think what isn't protection. Oh Evening Argus just a small correction The Friends of Stanmer Park no longer exists. Here we go again
  • Score: 0

9:28am Wed 9 Jan 13

Postman_Pat says...

For those suggesting the Amex, due to planning regulations attached to the stadium there is a limit of how many concerts can be held there a year. 2 I believe.
For those suggesting the Amex, due to planning regulations attached to the stadium there is a limit of how many concerts can be held there a year. 2 I believe. Postman_Pat
  • Score: 0

9:53am Wed 9 Jan 13

saltdeanres says...

Why not hold these festivals in a field where's there's no damage done - why hold them in the park, it just doesn't make sense. Even now months later the park looks scruffy.
Why not hold these festivals in a field where's there's no damage done - why hold them in the park, it just doesn't make sense. Even now months later the park looks scruffy. saltdeanres
  • Score: 0

9:53am Wed 9 Jan 13

saltdeanres says...

Why not hold these festivals in a field where's there's no damage done - why hold them in the park, it just doesn't make sense. Even now months later the park looks scruffy.
Why not hold these festivals in a field where's there's no damage done - why hold them in the park, it just doesn't make sense. Even now months later the park looks scruffy. saltdeanres
  • Score: 0

10:08am Wed 9 Jan 13

Thetruthhurts101 says...

I take it all old people signed the petition!!! There are not many festivals of this kind in brighton
I take it all old people signed the petition!!! There are not many festivals of this kind in brighton Thetruthhurts101
  • Score: 0

10:55am Wed 9 Jan 13

Cambright says...

A half a million pound boost to the local economy in these tough times is no bad thing, and a little aesthetic damage is a small price to pay. However I don't think due consideration was given to the fact that this was Brighton green diamond.
A half a million pound boost to the local economy in these tough times is no bad thing, and a little aesthetic damage is a small price to pay. However I don't think due consideration was given to the fact that this was Brighton green diamond. Cambright
  • Score: 0

11:29am Wed 9 Jan 13

B Town Gal says...

It's quite apparent reading these comments that you didn't attend Shakedown as you are either too old or too boring.
Shakedown is just what brighton needs. I have been to both the events and they have been fantastic.
There is of course still some tweaking to be done but this event is in the infant stages and has a lot of potential.
I also attended a few events at Hyde park this year and that was also water logged and muddy but we have just had the second wettest year on record and most parks are looking shoddy.
I am looking forward to Shakedown 2013 immensely and hope this petition doesn't impact on it.
It's quite apparent reading these comments that you didn't attend Shakedown as you are either too old or too boring. Shakedown is just what brighton needs. I have been to both the events and they have been fantastic. There is of course still some tweaking to be done but this event is in the infant stages and has a lot of potential. I also attended a few events at Hyde park this year and that was also water logged and muddy but we have just had the second wettest year on record and most parks are looking shoddy. I am looking forward to Shakedown 2013 immensely and hope this petition doesn't impact on it. B Town Gal
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Here we go again says...

I do think that some people have missed the point.
NO ONE HAS SAID BRIGHTON SHOULD NOT HAVE POP FESTVALS
JUST THAT A MORE SUITABLE VENUE SHOULD BE FOUND.
Brighton is fortunate to have the Amex and if planning regs are an obstacle
Brighton Council owns most of the surrounding famland.
The farmer near the Devils Dyke seems to diversify in the summer months, so why not approach him/her.
Stanmer Park was given to the people as a public park in 1952/3 therefore it must remain open to all park users. Last year it was closed to those not attending the festival.
I do think that some people have missed the point. NO ONE HAS SAID BRIGHTON SHOULD NOT HAVE POP FESTVALS JUST THAT A MORE SUITABLE VENUE SHOULD BE FOUND. Brighton is fortunate to have the Amex and if planning regs are an obstacle Brighton Council owns most of the surrounding famland. The farmer near the Devils Dyke seems to diversify in the summer months, so why not approach him/her. Stanmer Park was given to the people as a public park in 1952/3 therefore it must remain open to all park users. Last year it was closed to those not attending the festival. Here we go again
  • Score: 0

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