BREAKING: Lambeth Council to charge for 2014 Brockwell Park fireworks for the first time

Brockwell Park Fireworks in Brixton, Lambeth. Picture by Alistair Hall
Brockwell Park Fireworks in Brixton, Lambeth. Picture by Alistair Hall

Lambeth Council is to charge its residents £7 each to attend its annual firework display in Brockwell Park on November 5.

It is the first time it has issued tickets for the formerly free event, which last year attracted 100,000 revellers to the Herne Hill park.

Tickets will go on sale later this month, and the council says last year’s event cost them £95,000 to put on.

The press release in full from Lambeth Council reads:

Lambeth Council’s hugely popular annual fireworks display will this year be a ticketed event held on Wednesday, 5th November at Brockwell Park.

Lambeth residents are being offered early access to discounted tickets so they get the best deal – and every child aged-16 and under will not be charged.

Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Our annual fireworks display is a big draw and I am delighted to have found a way to keep it going through this period of budgets cuts.

“This year it will be more of an event rather and just a fireworks display, with a bonfire for the first time, street style performers and themed areas for children to enjoy throughout the evening.

“Unlike many other London boroughs, we are delighted not to be charging children aged-16 and under. I would encourage residents to take advantage of our early bird offer for what I’m sure will be an exciting and fun event.”

The theme for the event is LIGHT and there will also be bars, food and craft stalls with details of more performers to follow. Brockwell Park has been chosen to host the event as it is both large enough and most easily managed in crowd and traffic terms.

By introducing ticketing for its fireworks night Lambeth Council is making a safer event. Last year the show attracted an estimated 100,000 people which the police and fire brigade have advised is too many to manage.

With pressures on the council budget, Lambeth needs help covering the bill for the hugely popular event. It ended up costing the council about £95,000 last year.

The fireworks display is one of a number of events the council puts on throughout the year, including the popular and free Lambeth Country Show which this year costs around £265,000 from the authority’s budget.

Picture Gallery: Brockwell Park Fireworks 2013


  1. Agreed Darren! I actually went to this event last night and was shocked to be asked for £10 on the door… for fireworks! I watched many familys turn around and go home. In my opinion this a very sad day that an event which was once free to some of the poorest residents in London, is now actually profit making by a large margin. Shame on you Lambeth Council. Shame on you.

  2. Brilliant, now the poorest cant partake in an event which they probably need the most. Nice one lambeth.

  3. Last year event was way too busy. I am surprised there was not a stampede. If they continue with a free event, it is inevitable that people could die.

    I witnessed first hand, women with prams and toddlers getting crushed, when the event closed by impatient revellers trying to exit.

    My wife was pushed up into a corner with my 2 toddlers, it was actually quite scary. I was actually quite surprised there was not more of a hoo-ha about it.

    It’s a shame to make it fee paying, but if they are going to have free events, they need to spread it out to different venues.

  4. You are all missing the point, yet I can see with your stupidity. watching fireworks should be for free because the public was forced to go to displays because individuals where having so many accidents because they did not know how to operate fireworks competently. Hence, government put in a ruling about it and more and more people made it a family outing/ event to go and watch fireworks etc. So why now are people being charged to go into a free park, when people pay council tax etc for such matters, to watch fireworks. Tell me I am still living in a free country!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. If Brockwell is the best place for crowd management then please take all the stupidly noisy and destructively messy events away from Clapham Common and move them to Brockwell. It is about time there was more respect for the residents near Clapham Common who put up with plenty of money spinning events (disturbances) on the common and have had the single most community orientated event taken away.
    No fireworks ever again on Clapham common? We will see. The greedy councillors know where they’d get most cash for their fireworks …. and it ain’t Brockwell.

  6. I have worked in events and production for years and I know these displays costs in the hundreds of thousands to put on. If you lot want a damn display why should you not pay for it, for gods sake it cost £6 for an adult who probably spends more than that on a couple of pints of beer and a packet of fags. Kids go free and The Council are doing everything they can to try to keep it going. For all you lot moaning why don’t you get out of your armchairs and go and do something about it, like raise some funds and put on a community display instead of whining about a few quid for one night a year entertain for the family. You not forced to go it’s optional and plenty of displays in London. Anyway Lambeth have published the costs for this event in their website.

    • Well said. I agree. £6 for a ticket and your children go free!? I can take my whole family for £12 to what I think is a fantastic event that’s only got better over the years. Last year was too busy in my opinion, so ticketing is the only solution

  7. And finally we get to the real reason they have been hosting it at Brockwell Park these last few years! Brockwell Park has fences and gates! Gates which they can charge you at!

    Hosting the fireworks at Brockwell Park repeatedly the last few years has just been an attempt to soften us all up to it being stationed there permanently so that they can charge for it!

    It’s now just another Lambeth Council cash cow! £7 this year. £10 a couple of years later. £15 a few years after that. What a bunch of snakes!

    More fool you if you’re okay with this decision. I guarantee in a few years time you’ll be balking at the money they’re charging for what used to be a free, community event!

    And Clapham and Streatham Commons will never see the event again because, being genuine common land with no fences or gates, they wouldn’t be able to charge people. And the excuse they’ll give is that it’s not “fair” to charge people when it’s at Brockwell but not do so when it’s at Clapham or Streatham, so it’ll have to stay at Brockwell permanently.

    Of course, it could remain free for everybody, funded by a combination of donations, Council funding and sponsorship, but then the Council wouldn’t get to cream money off the top, would they?

    And don’t give me any of that nonsense about safety! That’s not the real reason they’re doing this. If you believe that then you’d better watch out for the wallet inspector next time you’re out and about!

    The reason the Brockwell Park event was so popular last year is because it was the third year running that it had been held there. If they moved the event between Brockwell, Streatham and Clapham yearly, as they originally proposed, then most people would merely attend their local event every few years.

    But because they failed in that regard everybody convened on Brockwell Park, realising that they might be waiting in vain to ever see it on their own Common again.

    This whole saga just stinks. When they cancelled the event on Clapham Common last year, offering up a myriad of flimsy excuses, I just knew they were going to drop a bombshell soon and I even remarked at the time that they’d probably start making people pay because Brockwell has the gates and fencing to do so.

    And, lo and behold, that’s what happens! Just when I thought this Council couldn’t sink any lower.

    And what a shame, judging by the comments so far, that people will so readily accept this event going from being a free, all-inclusive, community event to being just another Council cash cow. It’s the end of an era!

  8. |I seem to recall at one Lambeth scrutiny meeting that They had spent £9.5 Million pounds on an experimental heating system that had never worked in Rouple park estate.
    So now we know where all our money is being spent.

  9. £7 adds up more when extras other than ticket administration costs are factored in. The charge for police cover and manpower, security, council and park staff overtime, indemnity insurance and the cost of clearlng up the park over the following days – it was in a right mess after the hoards desended on it last bonfire night.

  10. Any large organisation making an announcement like this to the press needs to get the order of informing the public correct. The Lambeth Council website still states ticket prices are still to be confirmed. Clearly not as we learn on this page what the price is. Perhaps we could also be told via the Brixton Blog what the early bird charge is because their website (Lambeth Council) is pretty useless, not very user and out of date!

  11. Fair for the council to find a way to finance a big popular event. The calculation is fairly easy: an attendance of 100.000 people for a cost of £95.000. A fee of £1 per person would cover it, wouldn’t it? That would be a small contribution for a big gig that the whole community appreciates. But no, it’s not so easy! It needs to be £7!!! I wish they fail. I will regret the streets filled with a huge crowd converging at night towards Brockwell. Fuck them.

  12. Firstly I would like to point out that there HAS been a bonfire before. When I was a child they had them. Secondly, kids can go free but what if their parents are cant afford it (Lambeth is not only full of wealthy fucks)does that mean the child has to go unchaperoned? or forfeit going all together? Fuck them.

    • I’m pretty sure there are some wealthy xucks and extremely poor folks who think the whole idea of sending £95,000 of public money up in smoke every year is just a little crazy. Especially these days. So why not charge a fee for people who want to watch it? That said, £7 doesn’t add up. Presumably the extra £6 is to cover for Lambeth’s ticket admin costs… and for child subsidies.

      • I have read that because the event is now ticketed, the capacity is only 40,000. There just isn’t 100,000 tickets to sell. It kind of adds up in my head. You’ve got to remember that under 16s are free. For every one of those claimed, it’s an adult ticket not sold.

  13. If it costs 95k to put on and there are 100k people attending, shouldn’t it be £1 each rather than £7?

    Why should we be paying for Lambeth Council to make a profit?

    They must have recouped a sizeable proportion of the 95k through the collections buckets anyway.

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