Application for a pop-up on and around the bandstand this summer – have your say to Event Lambeth

Organisers are seeking approval from Lambeth for a “performance-led pop-up” called the Open Arms occupying Ruskin Park Bandstand for 5 afternoons and evenings a week from 29th April to 12th September 2021, Covid restrictions permitting.

According to Event Lambeth “With a Culture Recovery Grant, they will be looking to celebrate and support the rich pool of talent living within the borough. They will provide a stage for local performance in the midst of rapid venue closures. Alongside a food and beverage offer.”

The event area would be open access and a site plan can be seen below. Further information from Event Lambeth can be found here including details of this proposal and their approval process.

Event Lambeth has contacted FoRP and they  are seeking community feedback on this event proposal. They ask people to email by Wednesday 10 March 2021.

If you give feedback, we would be grateful if you could let us know by copying any emails to

The Friends of Ruskin Park committee has already raised some initial points with Event Lambeth:

  • We are not opposed in principle to appropriate new ventures for entertainment and refreshments that benefit Ruskin Park and local people.
  • However, we have several concerns:
    • that this is too much time for one organisation to be effectively taking over the popular bandstand area. It is more like a concession, not an event.
    • about the installation of two semi-permanent pavilions and toilet structures in the area surrounding the bandstand and their impact on the landscape.
    • about the size of the event levy and what would actually be spent on Ruskin Park.
    • about risks of noise and size of audience.
    • about the overall balance of these facilities, as proposed, with the calm and natural character of the park.
    • that this is an untested format so there should be monitoring and revision stages during the 5 month contract.
    • that the business model of the organiser should be transparent and the assets of the public park are properly valued in any such transaction.

Lambeth is conducting the consultation and we hope that will consider all views from the community. FoRP will also make a final response before the close of consultation. We will continue to engage on this and any other plans for events.