Lambeth council’s free firework display in Brockwell Park last night took its awe-struck audience on a musical journey from early spring to deepest winter.
Introduced by the Mayor of Lambeth at just after 8pm on a mild November night, an estimated 100,000 people were wowed by the pyrotechnics, over a well-crafted and humorous soundtrack that left viewers singing along and dancing.
The event was so popular that thousands were unable to get into the main arena, and many others complained about “chaos” as tens of thousands tried to leave Brockwell Park.
Additionally, Jeannine Mansell took multiple photographs that, much like the ones displayed here, are simply spectacular.
The soundtrack for the 30-minute display hand-picked the classics, with a warm Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles introducing Spring with sunny burst of bright flares. Summer Loving, from the musical Grease, reminded many of us of lazing in Brockwell a few months earlier. It grew colder, but didn’t end there. We were tapping our toes to Dancing in September, before suddenly all the leaves were brown for California Dreaming on a winters day.
In what felt like the busiest Brockwell Park Fireworks ever, tens of thousands flocked to the event. At one point Dulwich Road was closed to traffic as police and marshalls regulated the flow of people out of the gates. One Brixton resident, Siobhan Turner, tweeted: “Great fireworks display (despite the chaos leaving). Needed more police / marshalls. I hope everyone donated!”
Others were less happy with crowd management at the event. Ione Walder said the event was “badly organised”. She told Brixton Blog: “Huge bottleneck at gate, thus junction blocked, had to watch from road with burning debris raining down on us. Guess they didn’t take account of wind direction? Felt dangerous.”
Lambeth’s only firework event (there used to be three) was scheduled for Clapham this year, but moved to Brockwell Park for safety and crowding concerns.
Charmain Crozier said on Twitter: “So many of us they wouldn’t let us leave – gates closed and people climbing fences.” But others couldn’t even make it to the park. Laura Betts said: “Couldn’t get there on transport, too packed, tried for 2 hours now going home.”
I had a fiver in hand the entire time but couldn’t find a bucket to drop in my donation neither on entrance or exit. And I couldn’t even find a fixed booth with one either.
Did anyone see a donation bucket?
I thought it was a brilliant display. Really beautifully done. We paid to go to Ally Pally on Sat and it was really poorly organised and not worth the money at all. I shall stick to the lovely Brockwell Park in future as far better. We left via the Arlingford Road exit and they only had the small gate open (rather than the big double vehicle gates) which created a massive bottle neck – just seemed silly. There was also no one with buckets at this gate which just seemed like a huge wasted opportunity as we would have liked to donate.
The fireworks display was excellent!
Too many people think they can turn up 15min before the event and get in to see it. Make the effort to get there with plenty of time and you won’t be watching from the road.
As far as leaving just accept that this takes time, try leaving the 02 arena after an event, just as epic, its the nature of big events!
I paid £10 for the Battersea park show which was dull and out of sync with any music. If this is the standard of Lambeth’s shows to come they’ll be getting my £10 as a donation willingly. Looking forward to next year…
There never used to be problems with crowds or late-comers when there were separate events at Brockwell Park, Clapham Common and Steatham Common simultaneously.
Funnily enough, they also didn’t look for donations either.
Something tells me that the move to Brockwell Park (which just happens to be the only venue with fences and entrances) three years in a row for supposed safety reasons (yeah, right!) and the encouragement to “donate” will soon lead to the event becoming another cash-cow for the Council to exploit.
They’ll start ticketing and putting security at the gates eventually. For safety reasons, of course 😉
Anybody who wants to keep this a genuine, free to all, community event should make their voices heard and ENSURE sure that it is held on either Clapham or Streatham Common (where there’s no way that they can prevent free access) for the next few years.
If you want to be charged a tenner and fight the crowds to get into a traditional community event then go ahead and celebrate how great the show was at Brockwell Park and how much it was worth your donation, while criticising those that turned up thinking they were attending a community event and not a corporate event.
It’s only the local communities that will lose out eventually!
Comments are closed.