Residents could be given free tickets for music festivals proposed for Wanstead Flats

PUBLISHED: 18:00 28 September 2018

Two summer music festivals could take place on Wanstead Flats. Picture: Barry Chapman

Two summer music festivals could take place on Wanstead Flats. Picture: Barry Chapman

Barry Chapman

Some residents in Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest could be given free concert tickets if music festivals are allowed to take place on Wanstead Flats.

Fire crews dampening down a fire on Wanstead Flats. Pic: Ken MearsFire crews dampening down a fire on Wanstead Flats. Pic: Ken Mears

The perk is being pitched as part of a bid by the company behind Lovebox and Wilderness festivals to host two events on the nature reserve in June and September next year.

Up to 40,000 music fans will descend on the green belt site for the first time is the proposals by Mama & Company are approved by the City of London Corporation, which owns and manages the area.

The “Kayam Project” would welcome artists such as George Ezra, Paulo Nutini and Stereophonics, while the “Steel Yard” festival has Biffy Clyro, The Prodigy and Nine Inch Nails listed as potential acts.

Steel Yard could be held partly in a temporary metal tunnel structure, similar to that used at Creamfields in Liverpool.

Earlier this year the Flats were engulfed by a fire that devastated an area the size of 100 football pitches and the Corporation has said it must find at least £80,000 of savings in 2018/19.

“A significant income, could be generated from a large event, which would be re-invested in to the management of the Forest,” the Corporation said.

It added that some residents in the three boroughs would be in line for free concert tickets and the festivals would bring “employment and trading “opportunities to the area.

If the events are approved it will be the first time the park has hosted such a large-scale music event.

The biggest crowds welcomed onto the land in the past have been for the annual Newham fireworks display, which is attended by up to 30,000.

But a report into the proposal warns that the crowds and temporary buildings could impact on the rare and endangered species that thrive on the Flats.

“Wanstead Flats is of exceptional importance for its insects and other invertebrates, including many rare species,” according to the report.

It also warns that the breeding patterns of endangered skylarks, which live to the area east of proposed festival site, could be affected.

The Corporation will decide at a meeting in November.

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