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PARKLIFE: Combat Force To Tackle Festival Disorder

Council and organisers will set up a new taskforce to combat issues outside Heaton Park

Written by . Published on January 27th 2015.


PARKLIFE: Combat Force To Tackle Festival Disorder
 

A FESTIVAL taskforce will be created to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour outside this year's Parklife festival at Heaton Park (6-7 June).

"Staging events like Parklife in Heaton Park have enormous reputational and financial benefits for both the park and the surrounding areas"

There had been speculation as to whether the festival would continue at the location four miles north of Manchester city centre after local MPs and Councillors received a deluge of complaints from local residents over drug use, noise, litter and festival-goers urinating around the 600-acre park in Prestwich.

One Bury MP, Ivan Lewis, has campaigned to have this year's festival banned altogether following multiple stabbings and the tragic death of Robert Hart following a violent assault at Parklife 2014.

Heaton ParkHeaton Park

Manchester City Council and event organisers have said the festival - which attracted 135,000 revellers last year - will have a dedicated team 'inspired by operations run at Glastonbury' to support the management of people to and from the site.

The force will include police and council officers and the event's own security team working around a festival control centre.

"This is a new opportunity for Greater Manchester Police and partners to deal with any anti-social behaviour before, during and after the event," said Chief Superintendent John O’Hare. 

The taskforce will also look into better drainage for the site and improved travel arrangements to and from the festival, including more effective taxi, bus and Metrolink operations.

Organisers say the festival employs more than 3000 staff and pumps £1.65m into local suppliers, and the team will look at how the community and local businesses can benefit from the festival.

ParklifeParklife

Councillor Rosa Battle, executive member for Culture and Leisure said:

"Parklife is a predominantly safe and successful music event enjoyed by the majority of people who attend. We have listened to the local community and understand there are issues and concerns, which is why following our review of Parklife that we decided to set up this taskforce.

We have also met with Bury councillors to discuss their concerns of the impact that this type of event has on the local community. We believe that the revised approach that we are taking will tackle many of the issues highlighted and address the concerns expressed within the community.  

"We continue to learn lessons from the staging of these events and we are not complacent.

"Staging events like Parklife in Heaton Park have enormous reputational and financial benefits for both the park and the surrounding areas with a direct benefit from the income generated which supports the year round operation of the park."

www.parklife.uk.com

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64 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

I attended this in 2013 and the running of it was an absolute shambles. A complete joke. I've attended hundreds of gigs all over Europe and been to loads of festivals from tiny ones like Festwich to huge festivals like Glastonbury. And within a few hours of being in Heaton Park I vowed never to return to Parklife. I said there would be carnage at future events, and I was correct. Not for me.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

I agree, and it was far worse last year. The events were great at Platt Fields but they made it too big and can't manage it. I fear there will be further incidents this year. Many vowed never to return after last year, not just to the festival but to Manchester at all, did not show the city in a good light at all.

DarrenJanuary 27th 2015.

I was embarrassed trying to get home from this in 2013. Loads of exits shut with security sending you to different exit, confusion & pushing leading to crushing. Then to find metrolink stops shut and a line of people a mile long at the next available stop, due to ONE person on the platform issuing tickets like an old bus conductor in the 1970's. I genuinely wouldn't go again even if it was free.

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

The buses picked people up from Fallowfield but would only drop them off at Miller Street afterwards despite indicating that the tickets were return. A poor girl on our bus was left stranded on her own trying to get back to Fallowfield.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

How frightful for the poor girl. Was she able to get through to Daddy on her iPhone so he could pick her up in the Mercedes, or did she have to walk all the way to Piccadilly Gardens to get the bus?

Gas GasJanuary 28th 2015.

Weird reply, Anon. Bit of a chip on your shoulder against students?

ChrisJanuary 27th 2015.

Another example of students taking over the city. The council don't care about local residents they are more interested in the cash that students bring. The organisers are inexperienced and out of their depth.

16 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

It's not the students who've caused all the trouble, it's the local youths, many students are scared to go now.

ChrisJanuary 27th 2015.

It's not all the students fault I know they're just trying to have a good time but this festival should never have moved from Platt Fields. I would guess that making more money was the reason for moving. The council seem to prioritise students over local residents.

rinkydinkJanuary 27th 2015.

Students taking over the city? I hate comments like that, as if the presence of a large student population is somehow detrimental. Which is utter bollocks. The organisers are very experienced too and it's really down to them to sort it out

ChrisJanuary 27th 2015.

Are you fucking serious? I used to live in Fallowfield before it became a 'student ghetto'... Used to be a family area! Hardly any left now too many parties, drinking, drug dealing etc. God help any remaining residents when Owens Park is increased in size. And Withingtons going the same way!

GrechJanuary 27th 2015.

Oh lordy lordy lordy, the bloody students taking over the city and ruining it for the poor under-trodden permanent residents. If only we could be like one of those brilliant successful cities that don't have a university or a student population. I'm sure you can think of one, Ed?

GrechJanuary 27th 2015.

If only we could be somewhere exciting and vibrant like Truro.

rinkydinkJanuary 27th 2015.

The world changes Ed. And sadly for you, this includes your beloved Fallowfield and Withington. Overall however, students are essential for the survival of Manchester's economy so it's a price worth paying

ChrisJanuary 27th 2015.

Manchester has one of the highest student populations in Europe Grech or did you not know that?? Yeah it's just part of being a 'successful city'... as long as it doesn't affect your life! Then it would become a problem

ChrisJanuary 27th 2015.

Oh piss off Rinkydink patronising twat.

GrechJanuary 27th 2015.

Yes, I do know that Manchester has a very large student population. You seem to have missed my point. It's a shame you're obviously such a bitter Paul Calf-style failure that you only see the negatives and can't appreciate the positives that being a university city brings to Manchester: the businesses that are attracted to employ Manchester graduates. The startup businesses and creative enterprises that get their start at the unis. The vibrant culture and arts scene which wouldn't be as viable without students. Perhaps you would be happier if Manchester was entirely populated by the poor and uneducated?

rinkydinkJanuary 27th 2015.

Language, Edwina. Don't get angry just because you're losing the argument

ChrisJanuary 28th 2015.

The fact remains student numbers are too high in this city and it's becoming increasingly detrimental to people's lives.

GrechJanuary 28th 2015.

That's not a fact, it's your opinion. Learn the difference.

ChrisJanuary 28th 2015.

It's an opinion based on fact Grech.

GrechJanuary 28th 2015.

What fact what that be?

GrechJanuary 28th 2015.

*would that be?

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

You'll find there were hardly any students there last year, 90% of people were off their heads on drugs, I saw one guy selling outside getting driven around site on a Parklife event staff buggy

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 27th 2015.

The actual security we're dealing back in 2013, guy in a fluorescent selling pills a fiver a pop.

Rick22January 28th 2015.

I don't understand how any one can say some thing is 'predominantly safe' event when 2 people got stabbed last year. I have just moved nearby and i am a bit concerned over this years event as my neighbors have said last year was awful. I think if they halved the size of the event it would make it easier to manage and less stressful for the locals

5 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidJanuary 28th 2015.

2 stabbings amongst 135,000 attendees? That's a 1-in-67500 chance of being stabbed. That sounds predominantly safe to me.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

That means less money though, so won't happen unless they're forced to by the council.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

With really big festivals there is a strong chance someone will get badly hurt or even die. That's just down to the odds of having 70,000 - 200,000 people in one place at one time and adding drink and drugs to the mix. But as a seasoned gig and festival goer for over 20 years, the atmosphere at Parklife and the organisation of it is the worst I've ever known. I've been to festivals like Glastonbury, GreenMan & The Warehouse Project down to small local ones like Festwich and to big gigs from Michael Jackson, Prince, The Stone Roses and Rage Against The Machine. There are so many things wrong with Parklife and its amazing to me there hasn't been more trouble. I've been to it once and once was definitely enough for me.

ChrisJanuary 28th 2015.

One stabbing is one too many though Gimboid.

GrechJanuary 28th 2015.

I didn't say it was acceptable.

Rick22January 28th 2015.

are you kidding Gimboid?Looks like we have a very different opinion of what is safe. Any stabbings at any event is not acceptable, 2 at one suggest that the festival has an issue. Add this to the other crimes and social disorder that was reported last year and think it fair to say this is not a well run event and does appear to attract criminals.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidJanuary 28th 2015.

Violence is a fact of life wherever you go. There are assaults every weekend in the city centre, does that mean it should be shut down after dark? I think you lack perspective.

Rick22January 29th 2015.

The fact you accept violence as common place and acceptable maybe highlights some thing more about yourself than society

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

I cannot believe they're even allowed to organise another the last two years.

20 Responses: Reply To This...
ChrisJanuary 28th 2015.

The council don't care. I guess the residents around Heaton Park need to make a stand.. Some sort of protest or petition maybe?

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

Nothing chills my blood more than the phrase "local residents"... just ban everything everywhere

BlutoJanuary 28th 2015.

I would sign one in support of the festival, just to put the wind up the self-important, self-centred nimbyist local residents who can't cope with one weekend of disruption and who should live in the countryside instead of a lively city.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

How very nice of you Bluto. I'd probably support the Festival, but despite many promises last year there were: people openly dealing and taking drugs outside Heaton Park Tram stop, men urinating in full public view and people selling drugs/rain ponchos ON the tram stop exit steps (when double trams were dropping off hundreds of people). The stewards did nothing, the Metrolink staff were ignored and no police were present. So as a local resident I don't want the Festival again, as at some point there's a distinct possibility of a major H&S accident/incident, potentially when I'm using my local tram stop.

BlutoJanuary 28th 2015.

A few drugs and widdles, oh the trauma. Cry me a river. Or move to Cheshire.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

Drugs and Widdles? I believe that will be the name of the next NQ bar owned by trust fund 'non bloke' Home Counties chaps.

ChrisJanuary 28th 2015.

Very easy for Bluto to say that but he would change his mind quick if people were to urinate on his property and sell drugs on his street. Typical idiot mouthing off about something that doesn't involve him. The truth is this event has attracted many idiots. Three stabbings at one festival is not normal!

rinkydinkJanuary 28th 2015.

Tickets on sale tomorrow morning everyone!

rinkydinkJanuary 28th 2015.

Anyone can just turn up and wee in the street though. No ticket required

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

American Airlines have a sale on Rink half price one way tickets back to the US..

BlutoJanuary 28th 2015.

I would not change my mind because I'm not a self-centred nimby. I don't think thousands of people should be put out, and the city loose millions in spending, for the sake of a few days disruption. If that a few days of that sort of thing of shenanigans once a year bothered me, I'd be living in the countryside, not in a major city.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

Snide one for rink..

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

Festivals are meant for the countryside!! Not the suburbs!

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

Parklife is crap anyway mostly second rate musicians no one would miss it

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

Give us your address then Bluto and we'll get a load of blokes to come round next weekend to piss all over your property/car for 12 hours, leave litter everywhere, take drugs, fight, and abuse you verbally; all in front of your kids (if you have any). And you won't be able to get away from it because they'll do it at the front and back of your property. Then say you'll still support it.

rinkydinkJanuary 28th 2015.

There are some that'd probably pay for that...

BlutoJanuary 28th 2015.

Yeah, I'm sure ALL of that happened to you, Anon. If there was a festival going on near me I wouldn't have a problem with it.

BlutoJanuary 29th 2015.

You've actually reminded me. I lived in town when 200,000 Rangers fans paid us a visit. I didn't call for footy fans to be banned from my the city centre. Because I don't believe that my convenience and comfort is more important than everything else.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

If you choose to live in the City Centre you expect noise, litter and antisocial behaviour because of all the shops and licensed premises. Not so in the suburb of Prestwich; obviously people there have different expectations re convenience and comfort, but this is far more about not feeling safe in your home and on the surrounding streets. If the Rangers fans had been invited to return Bluto, twice, you might be able to justifiably compare the two. Didn't happen though.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

'Anyone can just turn up and wee in the street though. No ticket required' Which is why Rinkydink prefers the UK over the US.

David SmithJanuary 28th 2015.

When you have GMP in your back pocket you can get away with anything.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

I'm surprised Pat Karney hasn't tried to ban it.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

Holding a big pop festival in Manchester is just asking for trouble given the proximity of thousands of poorly educated and cultureless young people who think getting blind drunk or drugged up and having a fight is all part of a good night out. I can't see why the council wants to hold it again. Previous events have shown Manchester to be the rough, grim and poor place it is, rather than the sophisticated, cosmopolitan place the council wants and pretends it to be.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

Great stereotyping. Not the truth though drunken students were causing many of the problems.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

Which problems?

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

There was no problem when The Stones Roses played 2 nights there. Much better organisation.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

An indie feetival would be good. Acts like Snoop Dogg and Plan B are bound to attract the idiots

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

I've seen Plan B & Public Enemy in concert. I've seen Marilyn Manson and Rage Against The Machine too. No problems whatsoever. Because they were all organised and run well. Parklife isn't, that the difference. There's no problems with hundreds of people in the middle of Prestwich when they hold Festwich. That's well run too. The problem isn't the music or the type of acts that preform. It's the people in charge of Parklife that need to have a look at themselves.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Does the money actually go back into maintaining the park? Heaton Hall is still closed. It would help to know where the money from Parklife, Stone Roses, Oasis etc. has gone.

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