Lambeth’s first ticketed firework display has received a mixed reaction from local residents.
28,000 people paid to watch this year’s Lambeth Council fireworks in Brockwell Park this Wednesday, with many praising the creative display.
However, there have been complaints that the event was chaotic – with the fireworks starting late – and that the area fenced off for spectators was badly located and over-crowded.
Writing on the Brixton Blog comment board, Rory Webster said: “Utter shambles of an event. It was like being kettled on a sea of slippery mud.”
Some parents have reported that they felt unsafe with their children at the event.
Siobhan Turner said, “our 5yo was being pushed and shoved by pushy, shovey 20 somethings with bottles of beer in their hands, and even at 8pm it is a late start for the kids.
“8.30pm with the crowd getting angry and our daughter by this stage crying is not what we had wanted.”
Although residents have complained about the event’s organisation, many enjoyed the display itself.
Mark said, “When inside it was far more crammed than previous years and very muddy which must have ruined areas of the park for the whole of winter.
“BUT the fireworks were great once again, the team who do them deserve huge credit. Very poorly organised though and my fiancé and I won’t be going again if it’s run like this.”
Some have agreed that the event should be ticketed: “I support the council’s decision to charge particularly at a time of cut backs to their budgets,” said Daz.
Councillor Jane Edbrooke, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, expressed the council’s delight that the fireworks were a success and that people were safely managed.
She said that although the Council were reluctant to introduce ticketing, there was not other option after last year’s overcrowding.
“At a time of budget cuts, it seems irresponsible to spend more than £100,000 on fireworks displays, ” she said.
“We know residents are more concerned about issues such as housing, safety and jobs – and we are determined to focus on these areas,” she continued.
Cllr Edbrooke explained that the fireworks were delayed by around 20-minutes for safety reasons: “Firstly two people had to be removed from the pyrotechnic firing area, and we also delayed the gate closing times to make sure ticket holders had time to get in.”
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