Tottenham festival axed as costs rise - but carnival is still on
17:06 25 May 2011
Organisers behind the Tottenham Carnival and Festival have been forced to cancel the festival after delays and red tape led to soaring costs making it too expensive to run.
Up to 8,000 revellers were expected to attend the all-day event, which marks the end of the carnival procession in Bruce Castle Park and was due to host a music stage, family entertainment, a Mannings fun fair and food and drink stalls.
The carnival parade through Tottenham will continue as planned on June 18, but police and council officers ensured the festival’s plans were called in for scrutiny by a licensing committee over security concerns, after Haringey Police said they would not patrol inside the grounds this year. This delayed vital bookings, said carnival committee chairman Nicky Price.
He said: “We are not demoralised, but we are gutted. There were a number of issues. Number one, the cost has jumped up dramatically because the extra security, extra fencing and toilets tipped us over.
“We had everything booked and ready to go but [our suppliers] can’t hang on forever.
“For example, we had to go elsewhere for a smaller stage - for more money. Glastonbury have got all our toilets now, and even the fairground has been moved to another venue.”
He said putting the festival on would have left the committee “£10,000 adrift”, adding: “We have worked all year for this event, and it is not easy to get the money in - I’m begging. We are letting the people and the businesses down in Tottenham. There are people who have booked holidays to come to the carnival. It is a shame we have had to put up the white flag on this one.”
He said he felt concerns could have been resolved in meetings with the police, council and other parties without it going to committee. “We are a very professional organisation but we are all volunteers in a community group. But I am the chair. If we haven’t got it right then I haven’t got it right. It falls on me.”