No fireworks for Wanstead Flats, as festival opposition organises

There will be no fireworks this year on Wanstead Flats, after the traditional display was moved to a different part of Newham.

(Eton Manor’s display is taking place on Sunday evening, details below.)

Meanwhile, opponents of the plan to stage an unprecedentedly massive music festival on Wanstead Flats are marshalling their arguments ahead of a meeting of the Corporation of London committee which oversees the Flats.

The proposal has changed from its original scale – it would now be a three-day festival – and it’s been put off until September 2020. Details of the plan are not yet finalised, but it’s likely to be a high-profile music act with either a main stage or a series of smaller stages. The Corporation says there would be an “extended public consultation period”, and permission would in addition be needed from Redbridge which would be the licensing authority for the event.

Campaigners living near the Flats are concerned about the size and scale of the proposal, the effect on wildlife, especially birds, as well as noise, crowd control, crime and transport.

And it’s not clear either whether there would be any benefit to nearby residents or to Wanstead from the event. The Corporation of London would make significant money from the event, but it’s not clear what would actually happen to that money. Suggestions include investment in the flats, still recovering from this summer’s fires, or in Wanstead Park, which has waited years for renovation investment.