Anger over Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend plans

07:51 15 May 2012

American hip-hop superstar Jay-Z

American hip-hop superstar Jay-Z

Archant

A storm has erupted after it emerged a sizeable part of Hackney Marshes will be out of bounds to the public for four weeks while preparations are made for a mega two-day pop festival held there this summer.

A dazzling line-up of music acts including international superstars Rihanna and Jay Z will headline BBC Radio 1’s Weekend event on June 23 and 24.

But preparations to erect a huge perimeter fence for the concert mean access to a public pathway used for recreational purposes and as a shortcut, running alongside the old River Lea (not the Lea navigation) from Homerton Road to Friends Bridge, will be closed from June 9 to July 6.

Radio 1 wants to ensure no-one without a ticket is able to get in, so the event doesn’t get swamped.

But Hackney Marsh Users Group have branded the security arrangements as “excessive” and “unacceptable.”

Leabridge ward councillor and User Group member, Ian Rathbone, said: “The use of public open space for an event is one thing, but to hold one that excludes public use of common land for a month suggests the Marsh is not an appropriate place for such an event.

“The proposed closure of the path a will deprive regular users of one of the best parts of the Marshes for walking, running, cycling and watching the wildlife.

“These arrangements take no account of the large number of local people who visit and use the Marshes on a regular basis for informal recreation and to enjoy the peace and quiet it provides.”

Cllr Rathbone has asked the council whether the time the path is shut can be shortened to allow people to continue to enjoy the marshes.

But a BBC spokesman said planning for an event of this scale inevitably caused some disruption: “We have worked incredibly hard to ensure that this is kept to a minimum,” he said.

“Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend will offer tens of thousands of people from the local area, the opportunity to see a world class musical line up right on their doorstep.”

The council’s cabinet member for culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane, said in a statement the event had been developed to minimise disruption so most of the Marshes remained open for all but four days in June.

“The Olympic Games and linked events present a once in a lifetime opportunity and the Marshes is the ideal venue for the Hackney Weekend,” he said.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Thursday, April 2, 2015
William Kerr murdered a woman in 1995 [Photographs from North Yorkshire Police]

Police have issued an urgent appeal to the public to help them locate a convicted murderer who needs to be rearrested and sent back to prison in Hull.

Thursday, April 2, 2015
This photograph was taken by Twitter user @danel20011

Over 100 firefighters are tackling a huge blaze at an industrial unit on Park Royal’s West Road.

Thursday, April 2, 2015
The victim was kidnapped after he left a nightclub in Leicester Square [Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images]

A vicious kidnap gang who tortured their victim with knives and a hot iron during a terrifying 36 -hour ordeal have been jailed for a total of 60 years.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Passenger at Euston station were left stranded after the fatality (Pic: Getty Images)

Services between Euston and Tring are up and running again, after an earlier fatality at Hemel Hempstead forced rail bosses to suspend journeys.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Stevie the Fox will not be coming to London (Pic: Getty Images

A pop-up fox café has been cancelled after an outcry from animal rights campaigners.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Read more