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.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 12:17
Kim Kalkowski, owner of Cakes 'n' Treats in Camden Town, says she has been unfairly targeted by anti-fascist groups

The owner of a vegan cake shop fears for her business after anti-fascist activists launched a “mistaken” campaign to stop people visiting her store.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:39
Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena (front) leaves Westminster Magistrates Court earlier this year.

A Whittington doctor facing the UK’s first prosecution linked to alleged female genital mutilation has denied any wrongdoing.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:39
The vehicle on fire in Prince of Wales Road.

A bus carrying pensioners was left stranded and full of smoke after a camper van in Kentish Town caught fire.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

Yoou might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more
The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more