Greenwich Council plans to hold £165,000 festival in Charlton Park in August

Charlton Park
Charlton Park could host Greenwich Council’s main summer festival in August

Greenwich Council’s annual Great Get Together festival is to move from Woolwich to Charlton Park and be given a new look and name, tender documents issued to potential event producers reveal.

Held to coincide with Armed Forces Day for the past decade, the event began life at Barrack Field on Woolwich Common, as a merger of smaller events held around the borough in the years before that. It moved to Woolwich town centre in 2019.

After last year’s event fell foul of the pandemic, the council is now planning to relaunch its annual jamboree, with Saturday 21 August pencilled in as a start date – at a cost of £165,000.

The move from Woolwich to Charlton Park will disappoint those hoping for a boost to the troubled town centre, which is receiving up to £17.1m in government funds to make it more appealing to visitors and residents.

But the council says “this year provides a natural opportunity to reconfigure the event and move location”.

“This location has been chosen as the park is in the centre of the borough, is a large, flat, green space with many sections, fenced with several gates, a small car park and is well equipped with existing facilities including a skate park, cafes and a playground making it the perfect location for a contemporary outdoor community festival, with exciting new content for residents to enjoy,” the tender document, spotted by tweeter Jo Brodie, states.

“The event will also provide an opportunity for thanks to our NHS and key workers, as well for reflection and memorial to those lives lost during the pandemic. The focus for the event should be a contemporary family festival with an overriding theme of equality and diversity,” potential organisers are told.

“We envisage music, arts, culture, food and entertainment from around the world, but embedded in the diversity of the variety of communities we have in Royal Greenwich [sic]. The event needs a rebrand – with a new name that captures this essence.”

The document says that for this year only and as “a celebration of the potential end of the pandemic, we are able to invest more in the event than ever before, enabling the opportunity to produce a really spectacular show”.

While coronavirus restrictions remain in place until at least June 21, and scientists have warned of a third wave in July or August, the tender document makes the assumption that London will be in a better position to hold outdoor events.

“The end of summer date hopefully allows for the Covid-19 restrictions to have been lifted, the vaccination programme to have been completed, and anticipates that visitors will have regained confidence in large events and social gatherings again,” the document states.

The proposals appear to be similar to those for the hugely popular Lewisham People’s Day, which takes part in Mountsfield Park in Catford. However, organisers have also been told that “due to the borough’s rich military history and some armed forces content at previous events, we may want to include some content of this nature such as an assault course and visibility and support from local community groups such as the Army Cadets and British Legion”.

The plan to spend £165,000 on a festival in Charlton Park comes two months after the council declined to spend money on improving lighting in the park to make it safer during the winter months.

Companies who want to put the event on have until 30 April to submit their application.

A version of this story appears on our sister website 853.


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