Neighbours furious about Central Park hosting We Are FSTVL

Frustrated festival goers have complained following reports of stampedes and three hour long queues

We Are FSTVL was previously held in Upminster but is set to take place in Central Park, Dagenham this year. - Credit: April Roach

Angry neighbours have demanded a festival be moved elsewhere over fears about crime, noise and anti-social behaviour.

The two day-long dance music event We Are FSTVL could see up to 20,000 revellers at Central Park, Dagenham, on September 11 and 12.

But people living nearby have criticised the choice of location and slammed Barking and Dagenham Council, alleging the town hall failed to consult.

There are also concerns over pressure on public transport and the spread of Covid-19.

Central Park, Dagenham.

Central Park is one of the borough's largest parks. - Credit: Lindsay Jones

Sarah Crane, whose home is a minute's walk from Central Park, said: "This is not right for the area. We've got enough crime as it is.


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"After the year we've had, that park is a lifeline. It's the only place safe enough for us to take our children where we can feel proud of and it's being taken away again."

Central Park was used for the DEFECTED FSTVL event in 2019. An online petition against its use for large, commercial music events has been launched.

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A council spokesperson said: "While the future of Covid-19 restrictions is uncertain, we are hopeful that by September this event will go ahead as it's a fantastic opportunity for Barking and Dagenham."

Council papers from February show the Metropolitan Police had objected to the park being used but then withdrew its objections.

The council spokesperson said the organisers have to submit a robust safety plan checked by the town hall, Transport for London and emergency services.

Police and security will be present during the festival with a noise management plan and sound level checks in place.

He added there would be a "robust" transport management system while in 2019 buses and trains coped "very well".

In February, We Are FSTVL backers Springmerch Ltd gained permission to hold the event at Central Park for nine years.

Dawn Freeman, who lives off Oxlow Lane, asked what the borough stood to gain from the event.

She added the first residents heard about it was in a post on social media.

The council spokesperson said it would put the borough on the cultural map, fees would contribute to free events and 200 tickets would be available to people who live nearby.

He added an advertised 28 day consultation ended in June 2020.

Both Dawn and Sarah called for the event to be moved to a place away from homes.

"We just want to be listened to," Sarah said.

We Are FSTVL did not respond to a request for comment.

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