Festival Republic Gets Nod From Luton And No From Clapham

A serene Stockwood Park, Luton. Pic: Gordie Jackson @ Unsplash

Festival Republic has been granted a licence for a 3 day event in Luton’s Stockwood Park, during the Whitsun bank holiday weekend, from May 24-26, dates that coincide with the usual slot for the FR-organised Radio 1 Big Weekend

The application stated that the event would include both live and recorded music, dance performances and films, and will include alcohol service.

According to Luton Today, a noise hotline will be active during the event, and Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn will consult the local community ahead of the event to allay those concerns.

Slightly further south, The Friends of Clapham Common announced via Brixton Buzz that ‘Festival Republic will not be returning to Clapham Common this year’ issuing a statement that read:

“Ahead of the annual general meeting of the Clapham Common Management and Advisory Committee (CCMAC), the Friends of Clapham Common have learned that Festival Republic will not be returning to the Common this year.

“The announcement comes seven months after a Public Inquiry, held during the summer of 2023, which considered whether it is in the public interest to enclose the Common for events of this size.

“The Friends led the case against Lambeth Council and despite a final decision concluding that such events could take place, the Inspector agreed with the Friends that the size of the Common had indeed been overestimated by Lambeth – the upshot of which required a reduction in the size-allocation for the festival site.

“Events on this scale remove the largest area of open space on the Common in the height of summer, during school holidays and disproportionately affect the 50% of local residents who have no direct access to green spaces.

“Local residents have been forced to deal with excessive levels of sound pollution, litter and disruption, which has generated hundreds of complaints and caused distress to those closest to the site.

“The Friends look forward to continuing a constructive dialogue with the Council, directly and via the management committee (CCMAC), to develop an events policy based on public benefit, rather than short-term commercial gains used to plug borough-wide budgetary shortfalls.”