German Bierfest 2017 cancelled
The Society had been monitoring the plans for the Bierfest to be held on Acton Green from 24 – 28 August, to be run by the same organisation as last year (London Oktoberfest), re-branded as the German Bierfest Ealing. In July we provided the only local representation, apart form Ward Councillor Andrew Steed, at the meeting with Ealing Council and the event organiser, organised to discuss the details of the proposed event.
The Council gave conditional permission for the Bierfest to take place, provided the organisers meet all the requirements stipulated by the Council including monitoring of noise levels, numbers and arrangements for entering and exiting the event.
We asked the Council for details of the conditions imposed for granting permission for the event but before a response arrived, the organiser announced that this year’s event was cancelled. The Council has informed us that the organiser intends to return in 2018 so we will continue to monitor developments.
Following the first Oktoberfest in August 2016, the Society organised a membership survey. Thanks to a string response, this helped us clarify local views before going back to Ealing Council with feedback about the Oktoberfest and similar events on Acton Green in the future.
Overall, it was felt that the event was well managed in terms of security and noise levels although low attendance probably contributed to this and there was concern that had more people attended local disruption would have been much more serious. Residents who live close to the Green were understandably the most critical and there were a number of reports of noise levels being so intrusive that they prevented people from opening windows in the warm weather or using their gardens. Other residents expressed sympathy for the adverse effect on householders living nearby and questioned the suitability of holding any additional events in the heart of a residential community.
While a number of people welcomed the idea of public events being held occasionally to encourage people to meet and to be more “inclusive,” there was a strong preference for these events to be community-based rather than purely commercial. However, comments were also made about the disturbance caused by existing events during the year and it was generally felt that there should be a limit on any additional events of no more than one or two per year and they should not exceed three days’ duration.
When asked if it was appropriate to hold another beer festival or similar event in future, only a third of respondents agreed. Residents expressed a desire to be consulted in advance of any proposed event and for each one to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The Society contacted Ealing Council to convey the results of the survey and asked to be kept up to date on any future plans for events so that residents’ views could be considered.