Festival organisers ‘devastated’ after Brent Council calls of their event

Organisers of the Dada funday say cancellation has cost them �2,000

Organisers of a festival to promote closer families say they have been left devastated and �2,000 poorer after Brent Council cancelled the event at the 11th hour.

Record label Black Swan Entertainment says it has been forced to shelve its Dada fun day at Roundwood Park in Harlesden on Saturday after a council officer refused final permission just a week before the event was to be held.

Azza Bakhsh, one of the organisers, said the label stood to lose the four-figure sum because of the cancellation.

She said: “This is unacceptable, given the time and effort put into the event and especially because this is all for the kids and the community.

“We are trying to do this for the children and for families. Now we have to break the children’s hearts. We have been let down completely.”

Ms Bakhsh said she had repeatedly contacted the council to finalise the details for the day-long event, but her calls and emails went unanswered.

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Fairground rides, a performance stage and music equipment were all hired for the event, and organisers have had to let down many local businesses by cancelling, she added.

Coree Richard, director of Black Swan Entertainment, said: “I am really, really disappointed. We are doing this off our own back, and the council is cutting it at this late stage. We have been told by professional events planners there is nothing wrong with our plan.

“The council has already stopped a lot of its own festivals because of funding cuts, but what support does it show the community who are trying to put something on?”

A council spokesman said that organisers had failed to resolve important

issues such as the provision of toilets, first aid on site and risk assessments.

He added: “We were left no choice but to cancel the event because time had run out for organisers to complete the work needed to ensure a safe, healthy and successful festival.

“We had several phone conversations and were in extensive email correspondence with organisers through this period. Cancellations are always regrettable, but organisers have to meet minimum standards.”