May 24 2013 Latest news:
by Rob Bleaney
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Young people should be at the forefront of a new, revitalised Tottenham Carnival and Festival to bring money, prestige and a new direction to a tired institution.
That is the view of some after what should have been the highlight of the Tottenham calendar stalled at the last minute after a year of preparation.
For the second year running the festival, traditionally held in Bruce Castle Park where the carnival procession ends, had to be cancelled – this time with just 48 hours’ notice.
Amid much disappointment and some frustration, calls were made for a dramatic overhaul of the event, with young people at the forefront of the vision.
Event chairman Nicky Price stepped down after the event on Saturday, citing the need for “new blood” – and youth workers and politicians are keen to create an event to show Tottenham’s talents to the world.
Andreas Koumi, who manages Exposure, a media charity that works with young people across Haringey, said: “Something’s obviously not working with the Tottenham Carnival so maybe it’s time to put young people at its front.
“They will have ideas, vision, energy and enthusiasm, and be able to drum up interest among their peers as well as attracting sponsorship and business investment.
“You can see what’s happened with the kids at Gladesmore Community School and their Everybody Dreams song. They’ve got huge support from celebrities and radio stations because it’s young people standing up and showing the world that there are positive things happening in Tottenham, not just riots.”
Mr Price, who resigned after nine years in charge of the festival, said Saturday’s event was cancelled to avoid “financial embarrassment”.
The sense of missed opportunity was compounded by the huge success of the 100,000 sell-out Hackney Weekend festival on the same weekend.
Liberal Democrat councillor David Winskill said: “Three miles down the road Hackney hosted one of the biggest free music festivals in Europe with phenomenal coverage from BBC3 and Radio 1.
“Not only did it showcase Hackney’s young talent to the world, the Hackney Academy was mentioned repeatedly and Fearne Cotton could not stop raving about how great the borough was.
“People have got to ask why Haringey Council is not more ambitious and cannot get itself together to put the borough and its people on the map.”
A spokesman for Haringey Council said £10,000 had been provided for the festival even though it was not council-run, and there would be a number of other events and activities happening over the summer.
Tottenham MP David Lammy, who is president of the Tottenham Carnival committee, was not available as the Journal went to press.