We attended the above meeting in an attempt to find out what will be programmed and what would this would mean for residents. The meeting was poorly attended and no local Councillor was present.
A production manager (Wesley Pierce of Number 8 Events) has been appointed to manage the logistics of the Party. We were told back in October 2019 that this appointment would not be necessary as Chris Whyte and his team could manage to logistics…Oh well, hopefully, there is now somebody in post who can manage a large scale event!
The Creative Producer, Katy Fuller, who was presented to us in October 2019 has disappeared from the project….We are now unsure as to who is the Creative Producer!
The Kilburn High Road will be motor traffic free from 3am on the 11th July 2020 to 3am on the 12th July 2020 between Kilburn Station and Coventry Close. The party will be open to the public from 2pm to 9pm on 11th July….but installations and road closures will happen beforehand. Installations in side roads, ie stage building, toilet positioning and the such will happen from the Wednesday 8th July 2020 with work being carried out between 8am and 6pm. This means that a large number of roads feeding into Kilburn High Road will be totally closed from Wednesday 8th July 2020.
So why will it take so long to set-up the party?
There will be 2 live music stages (mostly featuring ICMP students although we were promised 2 or 3 big headliners), 4 Stages with dance floors (Ballroom of Romance, Soul Train, Tailgate Party and Casa Latina). The stages will be powered by 12 electric diesel generators, silent we were toldt…so air but not noise pollution.
110 loos, 12 accessible WC’s, 6 urinal ports with 6 urinals each and a VIP loo of course..
Massive concrete blocks (sorry cannot remember the technical term) will be positioned by Kilburn Station and by Coventry Close and on all side roads feeding into Kilburn High Road.
3 giant Baobabs will be installed to represent immigration. Their size is shrinking at each meeting. They have gone from 4.5mm in October to around 3 meters in February. They will be created by children from fabric representing where they have come from.
A “Kilburnosity” zone by the Kiln Theatre that will provide creative workshops and art and craft stands.
A JR: Inside Out Art Installation. We were originally told that portraits of Kilburn residents and business owners would be pasted onto the length of Kilburn High Road. Now the scope is to be determined as time will not allow this to happen.
Liberty Festival in Grange Park.
Pop-up pleasure gardens created by 4 schools
Seating and first aid stations.
Where will the stages be?
The details of stages locations have not been decided yet. But since the closed High Road measures around 1.5kms it means that there will be a stage roughly every 200 meters according to our calculations. The only stage location that had been decided on was Iverson Road…unbeknown to the organising team, right in front of a sheltered housing block for older residents. We were promised that the stage would not be therefore positioned there.
Where will the traffic go?
The traffic will be rerouted on the West via Carlton Vale, Salusbury Road, Brondesbury Park, Willesden High Road, and on the East Via Finchley Road. This means that all roads between Carlton Vale in the South, Hendon Way/ Cricklewood Lane/ Willesden High Road in the North and Salusbury Road and Finchley Road will be residents access only between 3am on 11th July and 3am 12th July. Several side roads will be residenst access only from the 8th July.
How safe will it be?
Medical assistance will be provided by First Aid Cover Limited.
A private security company will provide security guards and the Metropolitan Police will provide Events Police Officers including 2 Counter Terrorism Officers.
The event safety co-ordination centre will be located in Wembley.
How will businesses and residents be informed?
We highlighted the issue that most businesses had not been advised formally of the party, nor residents. We were promised that a letter would be sent to all residents of Kilburn High Road or within 100 metres of the High Road by end of week starting 17th February 2020. We were assured that businesses had been informed via the Kilburn Businesss Association. We mentioned that no such association exists. We were then told that a “street team” would be established to go and see each and every business.
Who will clean afterwards?
Veolia will clean. However once again, there was very little consideration of routine rubbish collections on closed side roads before the event and it seemed that they had not tought about it. What about the bin containers on Palmerston Road? “What bin containers?” was the answer. There seems to be a few knowledge gaps to fill!
What about trip hazards on the current pavements and shops spilling over on pavements?
We were told that there was a Kilburn High Road improvement project that would ensure that all pavemenst would be renewed before the party. We said that this project had been postponed until September 2020….
They expect shops to operate as normal and will work with restaurants to offer a reduced menu. There was a question, not answered about drinking alcohol on the street. No answer as licencing provisions have not been addresssed yet. What about A Boards and shops displaying their goods on pavements? Again no answer.
Budget: how much will the party cost?
The team didn’t want to answer this question although they admitted that there was a funding gap for the whole London Borough of Culture programme, estimated to cost a total of £4.5 millions.
In conclusion, it feels that this party is being organised without detailed local knowledge nor the involvement of local businesses and residents. The next meeting will be in April and we urge you all to attend as the impact on us all is significant. We will of course keep you updated of any news.
We love a party but more local involvement is absolutely critical.