AEG submits plans for three-year extension on Victoria Park license

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All Points East operator AEG has applied for an extension on its license to throw events at East London’s Victoria Park, documents submitted to Tower Hamlets Council reveal.

Tower Hamlets council confirmed to Mixmag that AEG Presents has shared a proposal in line with the major events policy, which is being considered by the council.

AEG, who also run Coachella in California as well as BST Hyde Park, currently have a license to occupy the 218-acre public park until September 30 2024 in accordance with an exclusive licensing agreement first approved in 2017.

Plans were first submitted for the extension in July last year, with Tower Hamlets Council set to make a final decision on the application later today (January 31).

If approved, AEG will be granted a license to occupy Victoria Park between April and September in 2024, 2025 and 2026 — with the new license allowing the operator to run 11 days of events each year across this time frame.

This would include permission for new two day event in May/June 2024, which AEG will then be seeking to extend to a double weekend in 2025 and 2026. “The proposed new event dates would be in addition to the current All Points East and In the Neighbourhood event series,” the filing reads.

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AEG has not confirmed what brand or format this new event series will take place under.

AEG currently holds All Points East at Victoria Park, which this year is set to take place on August 17, and from August 23 – 26.The current license permits events across 10 days though, as council documents highlight, the operator usually only holds events on six of these days, with four running as “free to access community days.”

Before AEG was granted its license to occupy, Victoria Park played host to a number of festivals including Lovebox and Field Day — though the latter is still held at the park, albeit as part of All Points East programme.

Tower Hamlets Council lists factors such as the upkeep of Victoria Park amid cuts to government funding, boosts in the local economy and opportunities for residents in its recommendations for the license to be approved.

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The decision will come amid a new push from Tower Hamlets Council to change its events policy in relation to Victoria Park, which will see “medium events” which currently are limited to around 500-capacity increase to 5000 — with “large events” increasing to 20,000.

These major events will remain capped at 50,000 people however, the council have allowed for 12 of these max-capacity events to run each year instead of 10.

It’s unclear if the new policy is in relation to the plans submitted by AEG, however recommendations from Tower Hamlets Council insist the extension will help the council to embark on an extended events programme with “other potential operators in the future.”

According to the BBC, Mayor Lutfur Rahman claims that the council had “no choice” but to hire out the park as another way of income.

However, locals have shared their concerns around the plans including the launch of a petition for “no new events” at the park

The petition from the residents demands for the council carry out a consultation on the mayor’s plans for the park.

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A spokesperson for the local group Victoria Park Friends told Roman Road London: “Victoria Park Friends believe that increasing the size and frequency of events would be detrimental to both park users and residents.

“Major events are noisy which causes significant distress to both park users and residents, particularly young children and older people.”

Tower Hamlets council told Mixmag: “The council remains committed to listening to local people and local organisations to ensure that any disruption caused by events is kept to an absolute minimum.”

A council spokesperson also added: “The proposed changes would allow for a wider range of events to be considered by the council and boost local businesses and provide a wider range of things for local people to do and enjoy in the park. As part of the major events programme, both the council and the event organiser, proactively engage with residents and the friends group through community consultation sessions specific to the events programme.

“We understand the concerns that have been raised and remain absolutely committed to working with Victoria Park Friends to continue to minimise any disruption caused by events and help ensure that the People’s Park continues to be managed in a way in which it can be enjoyed by everyone.”

Mixmag have contacted Mayor Lutfur Rahman and AEG Presents for more information on AEG’s extension.

More information to follow.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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