Friends of Ruskin Park (FofRP) have released information about a series of events – The Open Arms – that Lambeth are proposing to host in Ruskin Park across the summer. The events, and supporting installations, would mainly happen around the Bandstand.
Sounds fun, maybe – but as the FofRP comment, “This is too much time for one organisation to be effectively taking over the popular bandstand area. It is more like a concession, not an event.”
The proposal – ‘pop-up’ or concession?
Lambeth’s proposal explains that “The Open Arms is a performance-led pop-up occupying Ruskin Park Bandstand (ideally) for summer 2021. As a recipient of the Arts Council England’s ‘Culture Recovery Grant’, they will be looking to bring to life an activation that celebrates and supports the rich pool of talent living within the borough. They will provide a stage for local performance in the midst of rapid venue closures. Alongside a Food and beverage offer.”
Full details of the proposal are in a PDF accessed via the FoRP website
FofRP initial comments
The Friends of Ruskin Park committee has already raised some initial points with Event Lambeth.
They are not opposed in principle to appropriate new ventures for entertainment and refreshments that benefit Ruskin Park and local people.
However, they have several concerns:
- that this is too much time for one organisation to be effectively taking over the popular bandstand area. It is more like a concession, not an event.
- about the installation of two semi-permanent pavilions and toilet structures in the area surrounding the bandstand and their impact on the landscape.
- about the size of the event levy and what would actually be spent on Ruskin Park.
- about risks of noise and size of audience.
- about the overall balance of these facilities, as proposed, with the calm and natural character of the park.
- that this is an untested format so there should be monitoring and revision stages during the 5 month contract.
- that the business model of the organiser should be transparent and the assets of the public park are properly valued in any such transaction.
Feedback and deadline
Anyone – and particularly, perhaps, those of us who live nearby and use Ruskin Park – may lodge comments with Lambeth.
Please visit The Friend’s excellent web page for further information and advice on opportunities for public comments to Lambeth by the consultation deadline of 10th March.