Agenda item

Mighty Hoopla, Brockwell Park, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 (Herne Hill)


Presentation by the Licensing Officer

The Sub-Committee was informed that this was an application for a time limited premises licence. The Sub-Committee’s attention was drawn to Chapters 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 and 15 of the Statutory Guidance, and to policies 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 11 of the Statement of Licensing Policy, as the ones particularly relevant to this application. The options available to the Sub-Committee were set out in paragraphs 6.2 of the report on pages 102 of the agenda papers.

The Licensing Officer confirmed:


·      This was a time limited application for an event to take place for the next three years. 

·      The events would occur over three consecutive days per year. These would be held on one weekend, Friday to Sunday, between the months of May and June. 

·      The first event would take place from 5 June 2020 to 7 June 2020. The event would take place in Brockwell Park. 

·      Entry and exit would be via a number of gates throughout the perimeter of the area.

·      The application had received four representations against it.  These were from the Licensing Authority, Police and two local residents. 

·      The Licensing Authority had called a member of the Events team, Ms Olivia Pearcey, as a witness for the hearing.

·      There had been mediation between the Licensing Authority and the applicant who had agreed to revise the conditions. There was still one condition, numbered 90, that had yet to be agreed.

·      A copy of the revised conditions had been circulated to all parties.

·      The application could be found from page 113 of the agenda papers. 


At this point in the proceedings, the Legal Officer stated he had queried the area of dispute in relation to condition 90. The Licensing Authority’s amendments to Condition 90 were generally acceptable to the applicant. However, the applicant’s view was that part b of the condition was unnecessary. Firstly, it set out the current year’s restrictions, which would then apply to the following years. Further, any age restrictions would have to be agreed with the Safety Advisory Group for each event if the application was granted. The Legal Officer also asked for confirmation that Condition 36 regarding no drinks promotion should read ‘no drinks promotion e.g 2 for 1’ (rather than ‘i.e’), which was confirmed by the applicant. 


The applicant confirmed they agreed with what had been explained. 


Presentation by the applicant


Mr Simon Taylor and Mr Dave Brindall, representing the applicant, informed the Sub-Committee that:


·      The event was a three-day event. 

·      Timings of the event could be found on page 99 of the agenda papers.

·      One of the conditions that had been revised related to maximum capacity of patrons. The applicant was applying for a maximum capacity of 29,999, but had agreed new conditions which limited the maximum capacity in the first year.

·      The Mighty Hoopla was an 18 plus event but the Across the Tracks event would be a family event for all ages.Last year, the events were popular with local residents who brought 40% of the tickets for Mighty Hoopla and 38% of the tickets forAcross the Tracks.

·      The applicant had 16 years of experience having operated award-winning events including events in the city during the summer time and in Victoria Park. The applicant had also recentlyorganised an event at Brockwell Park.

·      Planning for the event was at an advanced stage and had started in June last year.

·      The notices had been posted for more than eight months.

·      The applicant had produced a management plan in October 2019.

·      A Safety Advisory Group (SAG) meeting had already been held.

·      There would be three SAG meetings held before the event had taken place. 

·      Many meetings had been held with responsible authorities.

·      Matters such as traffic management and CCTV issues had been addressed and such processes would be continued.

·      The use of a Community Liaison Officer had been successful and would be retained.

·      The applicant liaised with community groups and with business groups and had gone throughpre-application advice. This had led to further discussions and agreements.

·      Last year, crime and noise complaints relating to the event were low.

·      The applicant had engaged in significant community engagement and had used experienced contractors which had been used for years.

·      The beginning of the conditions, on page 123 of the agenda papers, showed conditions which had been volunteered by the applicant relating to the application to validate the licence for three years. These conditions provided safeguards so that each year, an event had to be properly plannedand had to be approved through the SAG process. This included the approval of the event management plan.

·      Unless the plans were approved within the allotted timescale, the event would not be able to proceed.

·      If something went wrong in the planning process, then the Licensing team would be able to review it.

·      The list of conditions were comprehensive. There were 117 conditions and the applicant had to fulfil many obligations.

·      The Licensing team’s position was that there was only one major difference,which was condition 90 relating to the age policy. 

·      The applicant’s position on this was thata judgement had been made on what age restrictions were relevant to the three different events. These were set out on section b of Condition 90.  If only part A of the condition was adopted, then SAG would still go through the processes outlined for them.

·      The Police’s position appeared to be that they were happy with the application if Licensing was happy with it (as stated on page 145 of the agenda papers).

·      There were two resident representations on page 146 and 147. 

·      The plans together took into account noise, entry and exit, crowd management and other various factors.

·      Local business would be used to buy local materials. Local traders would be invited to operate a food trade.

·      In relation to the craft beer market, 50% of the brewers would be attending the event.

·      The applicant communicated with various businesses (five forums which represented several hundred of local businesses). 

·      The applicant had robust licensing conditions outlines (found on pages 99 to 106 of the agenda papers) which dealt with the collection of litter and waste.

·      The applicant also had a land licence which meant that the event being held was subject to inspection of the park. The applicant could not leave the park without leaving it in its original condition.

·      The footfall this year would increase, but would still be 50% less than the Field Day event in 2018.

·      The applicant would endeavour to ensure that footpaths be left as open as possible to the public.

·      The applicant wished to be a good neighbour for the next three years.

·      The applicant was experienced and responsible.

·      The applicant had put in a robust application which should be granted as applied for subject to all the conditions (and revised conditions) that had been proposed.





In response to questions from Members, Mr Taylor and Mr Brindall, informed the Sub-Committee that:


·      Part B of Condition 90 contained a reference to the safeguarding of children. Children would be able to attend the event but they must be accompanied by a parent or a responsible adult over the age of 25.

·      In relation to the use of glass in the hospitality area, there would be no glass taken into the arena and this would be ensured by security staff.

·      On entry to the site, no glass would be permitted, including glass bottles and perfume bottles.

·      Similar conditions that had been used in the previous year were being sought this year. There had been no instances of difficulty with glass breakage at the event.

·      In the event of glass breakage, there were specific teams in the areas that were constantly cleaning and would also clean the hospitality area.

·      No more than 1000 people would be allowed at one time in the VIP area so that they could enjoy drinking champagne and Prosecco. Security staff would ensure a safe environment for all attending the event.

·      There would be security staff at the entrance to the VIP area, security staff on the bars and there would also be a roving patrol of SIA staff. The VIP area was not a confined space and was large and spacious.

·      The number of security staff employed at present was 139 people. The staff would perform different duties and many security staff members would be involved in checking and searching at the start of the event but would be occupied with dispersal at the end of the event. The 139 members of security staff would be on site throughout the day.

·      There would be at least 10 members of security staff in the VIP area.

·      Only the champagne bottles would be made of glass. All other containers would be polycarbonate plastic.

·      The applicant was on board with the plastics policy. The server in the VIP would collect wash and reuse any glass. The applicant would not allow drinks to be served in plastic glasses but would serve in cans which was easier to recycle. 

·      The applicant did not wish to discriminate against young families with young parents and felt that they should be allowed into the event if they wished to attend.

·      The applicant had applied for a three-year licence because a long-term licence was primarily what was envisioned under the Licensing Act when it was first created in 2003. There were other advantages for an extended licence as it allowed the applicants to be able to invest properly in the infrastructure to make the event better rather than use temporary infrastructure.


Presentation by interested parties


Mr Ola Owojori, Licensing Officer, informed the Sub-Committee that:


·      There was an objection to the application for a three-year licence as an annual application had worked in the past.

·      As the event was a major event, there was likely to be some disruption although most of these would be mitigated by the conditions proposed by the applicant.

·      He would prefer for the event to be held on Friday to be for over 18s only.


In response to questions from Members, Mr Owojori informed the Sub-Committee that:


·      If a 17-year-old was allowed into the event, they may be more tempted to secure alcohol for younger people whereas someone who was closer to the age of 25 would be more likely to be able to tell ‘right from wrong’.


At this point in the proceedings, Mr Taylor and Mr Brindall, informed the Sub-Committee that staff members were well-trained and briefed about the illegality of selling alcohol to somebody who was under 18 years of age. The event management plan dealt specifically with the issue of proxy purchasing (purchasing on behalf of others). This would typically be spotted by young people buying large rounds. There was also security at the event looking for such behaviour and there would also be roving security. This was a matter that was treated seriously by the applicant and also applied to the family events. It was also important to note that not all older adults were responsible individuals.


The Sub-Committee was then addressed by residents. Mr Dean Thurlow informed the Sub-Committee that:


·      The event was a lot smaller than it was two years ago. That particular application attracted large members of the public and was modified last year so that the event would only be held over two days with a maximum capacity of 20,000 patrons.

·      The new application had an increase in the maximum number of patrons and had returned to submitting a three-day application.

·      There would be noise disruption in setting up and restoration of the park.

·      Although the event appeared to take place over three days, the set-up of the events and the restoration of the park usually took several weeks – at least one weekend each side and the dates chosen for this year which also included the half term.

·      Residents used the footpaths in the area where the festival was being held and these footpaths would be out of use for at least three weekends.

·      The event was a major disruption.

·      The Council was losing control of the determination of the application if it granted a licence for three years.

·      It was not clear why the applicant would not return to the Sub-Committee next year and make an application as usual.

·      The applicant was free to choose the days they wanted to hold the event and they could choose days such as the beginning of May or the end of June or a Bank Holiday weekend.

·      The events policy was scheduled to change in April 2020. Members of the public only would have an opportunity to raise issues after the event had been concluded.

·      There was a public noise nuisance issue as the events had a maximum noise level of 75 dB and people living in Herne Hill would have to suffer from the noise. Many residents left the area during the event.

·      A significant number of businesses would lose profit as the High Street came under strain due to the use of the area. The loss of income was quite significant for the business owners.

·      It would be useful for the park to become available to members of the public as soon as the event had ended. There did not appear to be a time limit for the reinstatement of the park.

·      It was not clear how well the park needed to be reinstated due to damage from use.



Mr Michael Wyler informed the Sub-Committee that:


·      Two years ago, there was a significant meeting in which 300 people had attended a large hall to express their concerns regarding the application. At the end of the meeting, the Council acknowledged what they had heard and the concerns that the residents had raised and accepted that the number of days that would be used for the event was too much. Moreover, three consecutive days for this event was too much.

·      For residents, three days of relentless music, crowds and the closing down of the neighbourhood was seen as unacceptable for a local living environment.

·      The applicant had provided no feedback on the survey that had been taken by the Friends of Brockwell Park in which twice as many businesses had reported a negative impact on their business. It was not clear what concessions would be given for those businesses especially those who operated their business via telephone, which was severely disrupted during the three-day event.

·      The park, park users and the children’s half term would be disrupted by the damage caused by the patrons. Some of the damage would be permanent and a complete renewal of large areas would be required.

·      It was not appropriate for the application to be granted for three years as the welfare of the park was important.

·      The Sub-Committee was not entirely independent of hearing the application as they belonged to a political party.

·      To grant the application for three years would mean that a significant amount of control would be handed over to the applicant and this would be a dereliction of the stewardship responsibilities held by Councillors.



The Sub-Committee decided to ask questions of Ms Olivia Pearcey, Event Lambeth Operation Manager.In response to questions from Members, Ms Pearcey informed the Sub-Committee that:


·      The last weekend of May 2020 was a half term weekend.

·      She could not really offer any guidance regarding the amount of time it would take to set up and reinstate the park as this fell under the Construction Design Management regulations. The Council did charge eight days for the event organisation but there were not any limits regarding the setup and reinstatement of the area.

·      The applicant being granted a licence for three years did not mean that the event could necessarily go ahead for three years in a row without the permission of the Events team.

·      The Events team wished to develop relationships with regular applicants, both helping and putting pressure on events-organisers to show that they were able to build and meet regulations.

·      A portion of the fee taken by the Council would be ring fenced on spending on the park. It was estimated that the approximate forecast income was £32,000 for Brockwell Park. There was a separate damage deposit if damage was caused to the area and additional fees would be charged if the damage was not covered by the damage deposit.


The applicant was recalled to address matters arising. In response to questions from Members, Mr Taylor and Mr Brindall, informed the Sub-Committee that:


·      The applicant had not seen the survey carried out by the Friends of Brockwell Park but staff members were asked to use local businesses for their lunch and evening meals and use local businesses where possible.

·      The applicant required the flexibility in the dates year-to-year so that the right calibre of artists could be invited to the event as musical artists were not usually available on set days across a given year.

·      There was a minor clash between the event and half-term dates. The applicant would set up on the 27 May 2020 and the impact of the site over a couple of days would be minimal.

·      The majority of the space in which work would be completed would be available for use of the public.

·      Although the applicant had access to use the site until 14 June 2020, the likelihood was that the applicant would leave the area by 12 June 2020.


At this point in the proceedings, the Legal Officer stated that there were some differences between some of the proposed conditions and the proposed revision of the conditions.Mr Taylor stated that the conditions found on page 141 of the agenda papers had effectively been replaced with further set of conditions put together by the Licensing Officer. However, the first line of condition 2 on page 141 of the agenda papers showing the maximum capacity (of 29,999) would stay as it was.

The maximum capacity of 20,000 on Friday and Sunday and 25,000 on Saturday would be in place subject to changes via the SAG process. However, if this was to be changed, the maximum capacity would not exceed 29,999.


Only conditions 90 and 91 had not been agreed.

Adjournment and Decision

At 8:33pm, the Sub-Committee withdrew from the meeting together with the Legal Advisor and Clerk to deliberate in private. The Sub-Committee had heard and considered representations all those who spoke. Legal advice was given to the Sub-Committee on the options open to them and the need for any decision to be proportionate. The Sub- Committee decided to grant the application subject to conditions.

RESOLVED: To grant the application subject to conditions.

Announcement of Decision

Members returned to the meeting and the Chair informed those present of the decision to grant the application subject to conditions. The Sub-Committee decided to grant the application for the next three years. Full written reasons would follow in due course. 


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