CAMPAIGN: Save the Lambeth Country Show

LambetH Country Show
The Lambeth Country Show in 2010 - Pic by Jason Cobb


By Tim Dickens, Editor

The decision by Lambeth council to cancel this year’s Lambeth Country Show, the borough’s annual free party in Brockwell Park, has left people in Brixton and across south London shocked, angry and wanting answers.

Scores of people took to Twitter and the Urban 75 messageboards to show their anger at the decision, which emerged on Friday afternoon.

In a press release, Lambeth’s cabinet minister for leisure, Florence Nosegbe, blamed the 2012 London Olympics. She and council leader Steve Reed tell us police and portaloos have all snapped up by the Games, which is 10 miles away in Stratford.

But it is hard to believe that there isn’t more to this late abandonment of the 37-year old institution. As Greater London Assembly (GLA) candidate Rob Blackie pointed out  on Twitter, the council has known about the Olympics now for seven years. Why has this decision been taken now, only five months before the rural-themed gig?

Fair enough, cllr Reed. if there are no portaloos there are no portaloos. But why on earth can’t the council rearrange our beloved country show? The weather in late August or early September could be perfect for a day of sheep shearing, dog shows and flagons of lethal Chucklehead cider.

As this doesn’t add up, and gauging the reaction of residents, we here at the Brixton Blog want to put pressure on cllr Reed, cllr Nosegbe, and their council colleagues to rethink the ill-thought out plan to write-off the community’s own Country Show. The Country Show that so many of us hold dear to our hearts, and which consistently brings together tens of thousands revellers from across south London.

Please sign our petition so that we can take it to the town hall and show them quite how angry people are.


If we can get 3,000 signatures Lambeth will be forced to debate the petition at a full council meeting, and the public will get a chance to speak in the chamber and speak in defence of the show.

Let’s show exactly how strongly people feel about this.

Steve Reed tells us that the council is right to forget the show this year, like Glastonbury and the Big Chill. But this isn’t a music festival in the corner of a Somerset field, this is an event that is vital to the people who pay their council tax month after month.

If you would like to help with our Save Lambeth Country Show campaign, or would like to help us collect written signatures at some point, send us an email at In the meantime, help us save the show by telling all your friends to sign the petition.

See the original story, and check out our report of last year’s show. And this from Jason Cobb’s Onion Bag Blog in 2010.

View the Urban 75 thread on the cancellation here.

Sheep shearing at the Lambeth Country Show
Sheep shearing at the Lambeth Country Show - Pic Jason Cobb


  1. Part of creating a successful search engine optimization campaign for you is optimizing your website for the correct keywords.
    Article Source: author writes for which provides information regarding tampa seo company.
    SEO and web developer professionals vary on the prescribed keyword density,
    usually ranging from a one to three percent density rate.

    Feel free to surf to my webpage: internet

  2. im sure there are bandz hu would kum for the exposure, & if everyone bringz an 8th, we’ll be off too a good start. couple that with some food stalls & sh*t and we be off. yehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  3. Moanings one thing – let’s do something for ourselves!
    If LB Lambeth can’t / won’t organise a Country Show this year, why don’t we just ‘organise’ a mass informal picnic and games on the date it would have been held. We could cal it B’POP – the Brixton Peope’s Olympic Picnic. No police, stages or portaloos necessary – just bring some food and drink, a guitar maybe and games could be organised. We could also invite any foreign althletes and journallists to see a real part of London at its best. Why not involve just some of the many communities in Brixton to welcome their athletes for an open-air park (street) party.

    I’m up for helping to (not) organise it – anyone else interested

  4. I like the show, and I’d like it this year thanks. I have seen Jeremy Clarkson represented as a Vegetable which amused me greatly, my friends laughed out loud at much of the offerings in the flower tent, but dont knock it- they asked that I put them up this year so they could come again.

    If the council cant support local community ventures, then its not fit for purpose. I deplore a society where the police think its better to trot off to East London and no doubt get loads of overtime pay than pop over here and support a venture that increases my sense of community.

    Shame on OUR council that I also contribute to every month by way of council tax.

  5. I think the photo accompanying the article says more about Jason Cobb than the Lambeth Country Show. It’s a bit 1970s cor look at the legs on ‘er isn’t it?

  6. It’s a shame that it won’t be on this year, but I find it hard to get most people worked up about this. The fact that you are hyperventilating about the country show skipping a year rather than say, the need for more social housing in Brixton, rather proves that blog is catering only to the (admittedly expanding) trendy new young Brixton community. I’m no cheerleader for the council, but they are trying harder than most to keep the ship afloat in shitty circumstances dictated by the wanker Tories in Government, and this looks like a fairly sensible decision, given it probably costs a f****** fortune to put the show on. Those owls don’t pay for themselves…

    • Hi Janus,
      Thanks for your comments on this. I agree that Lambeth council is under immense and unprecedented pressure to balance the books at the moment.
      They are indeed trying hard to keep the ship afloat. But maybe opening up the decision to further discussion be the perfect example of their co-operative council? Could discussions be had with community groups and others about them running part of the event?
      Our campaign to open up discussion over the Country Show came from what we saw as a lot of anger online about its cancellation. We wanted to reflect that by starting a petition that, at the very least, would get the matter discussed openly at a full council meeting.
      If it was due to the Olympics, and not finance reasons, why is the decision being made now? We have known about the Games for years and years.
      I’m afraid I disagree that the Brixton Blog is catering to the “trendy new young Brixton community.” Quite the opposite, in fact, as this is precisely the kind of event that can bring every element of our diverse population together in one place. We’ve had emails from people who have been going to the show for years and years who say they are “livid” at its demise this year.
      The Blog has only been running in its new form for a few weeks. We want to write about everything that affects
      our readers, including a shortage of social housing, rising rents and the dire shortage of school places, and these will all be coming up when we have time. If there’s anything you’d like to focus on in particular, please drop us a line.

  7. I see the objections if you are a transient inhabitant, but I have lived here for 20 years and the Country Show has felt a bit tired and repetitive recently; the novelty wore off a long time ago and parts (most notably the fairground) are well past their sell-by date. A pause for a rethink, assuming that someone bothers to do the thinking, might be a good thing in the long run.

    Mind you, the decision to cancel 6 months in advance because of an event known about for 6 years is probably down to incompetence; no conspiracy theories are needed!

  8. Sadly I think there is no way around this one- if the council hadnt cancelled it the Police almost certainly would – it is less than a week before the Olympics start so all London Police will be on alert prior to the big events, carrying out final rehearsals for procedures or on leave so that they can work through.

    You say that this is no music festival in a Somerset field but the bit of the Lambeth Country Show that needs the Policing effectivelky is a music festival – the music stages and the fairground rides take up the majority of Police resource during the weekend. I’m sure if it was just a case of the charity stalls, the farm animals, a few displays and council information stands it would require far fewer Policepeople however the Country Show as is constututed currently requires lots of Policing. There probably is a way around this if the show went back to basics but it would have to run for several years without incident for the Police to contemplate reducing the level of Policing – it is the 6pm onwards fighting between gangs, the Police and others that require the Police resource

Comments are closed.