Residents’ concerns over plans for German beer festival in Kilburn park
PUBLISHED: 18:41 16 June 2015 | UPDATED: 18:44 16 June 2015
A row is brewing over plans for a German beer festival to stage a two-week party in a park in Kilburn.
Residents are objecting to the proposals by London Oktoberfest to host two four-day events in Kilburn Grange Park in Kilburn High Road, on September 17-20 and September 24-27.
Oktoberfest, which has run popular summer festivals in London since 2011, serves beer and Bratwurst sausages from long tables where drinkers dance to traditional Bavarian oompah bands with some wearing traditional Lederhosen clothing.
It attracts up to 2,500 visitors at the weekend and this is the first time it could take place in Kilburn.
However James King, ex-Lib Dem Kilburn councillor, fears the festival will cause misery for residents.
He said: “This event is just too large, too long and too late. It creates a risk of drunken behaviour in the aftermath in a residential area.
“I just don’t think it’s reasonable and it doesn’t feel like a community event. “It’s very different from the Kilburn Festival which we have all enjoyed over the years.
“They are increasingly looking to rent out our parks for long periods of time and it’s a lot of space to be taking up for two weeks.”
So far eight residents have lodged objections to the plans which is seeking permission for alcohol to be served from 4.30pm to 10.30 Thursday to Saturday and until 6.30pm on Sundays during the event.
The company also needs the green light to set up a giant marquee containing a bar and performance area from September 13 -29.
Carsten Raun, Director of London Oktoberfest, told the Times: “Oktoberfest is not too big for the park, it’s a cultural event and we thought Kilburn Grange would be ideal because Camden and Kilburn are often left behind on events and we are only using one third of the of the park.”
He added: “People think of it as a festival where you drink enormous amounts of alcohol but we only serve one lager, and it costs a lot per pint so people don’t drink too much.
“It’s going to be a really traditional Oktoberfest. People will sit together and make friend-we’ve had two marriages since we first started.”
Mr Raun also said he is taking measures to limit noise disturbance and drunken behaviour and will start the event earlier on Sundays to cater for families with young children.
Cllr Jonathan Simpson, Camden Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “Details of objections and support will be published on our website five days before the committee hearing to make a decision, which is scheduled for 30 June.
“Members of the public may attend the hearing and those who have made representations are able to speak.”