Islington Council set for decision on Oktoberfest in Caledonian Park
PUBLISHED: 12:27 26 August 2015 | UPDATED: 12:27 26 August 2015
The spirit of Bavaria could be coming to Caledonian Park next month - but nearby residents are not happy.
Tomorrow (Thursday), Islington Council is set to decide whether to grant a premises licence for Oktoberfest in the park.
The festival, a celebration of Munich culture including music, bratwurst and lots of beer, is earmarked to take place between Thursday, September 10 and Sunday, September 13.
Organisers estimate it will attract 5,500 visitors to the park and its 2,900 sq m tent over the four days, including a capacity crowd of 2,500 on the Saturday.
But with 29 objections to the licence application, nearby residents have major concerns over anti-social behaviour.
One resident forecasted lewd conduct due to the park’s proximity to Market Road, a “magnet for prostitutes”.
Her letter read: “I don’t wear revealing clothing and yet I have been approached by men trying to buy sex from me on a number of occasions. These scenarios will be repeated for attendees who are not all used to this area and its ‘character’ and are likely to be drunk.”
It added: “To be expected to endure such extended time periods over four consecutive days and evenings, all so that a private company can make a huge amount of profit out of our misery, is totally unreasonable and unacceptable.”
Caledonian Park Friends Group also urged the council to turn the application down. It said: “Caledonian Park is too small and vulnerable for an event of such a size. There is potential for such a large event involving big numbers of people and their trampling feet to cause huge damage to the park’s recently planted gardens, green spaces and woodlands.”
Applicant Carsten Raun, of London Oktoberfest, ran his first event in Copenhagen in 2009. The operation now extends to 21 cities across Scandinavia and the UK.
A statement said: “Having held three previous events in London, in addition to numerous other events in several other countries, Mr Raun is well versed in a smooth and efficient production.”
It added last year’s event at Canary Wharf suffered no health, safety or legal concerns.
A decision is scheduled at tomorrow’s Licensing Sub Committee meeting at Islington Town Hall. It starts at 6.30pm.