Last weekend saw more misuse of the natural environment of Sefton Park for another pay-to-enter festival. Preparations for the Fusion Festival, which was ticketed for 30,000 people, had been churning up the heritage green space for more than a week before the event. And now the event is over we can see the full extent of the damage caused. Local residents reported massive disruption, with buildings shaking because of noise levels and one resident described the weekend long festival as “hell on earth”. This festival follows closely on from the disruption to local residents and wildlife caused by the Cream and Liverpool International Music Festivals in July. Local residents have repeatedly complained to the council about the impacts of these festivals on the park and on their homes and lives. However, the council has shown contempt towards the concerns of local residents who now fear the Fusion Festival could become an annual event.
When a local resident queried, “why were residents not consulted at open meetings arranged to assess public opinion before these events actually got permission?” the City Events Manager responded that: “An open residents’ forum was available on the Tuesday before the event in Sefton Park itself. This is something we have provided every year, alongside the residents hotline.” This is typical of what is becoming known as Liverpool Council’s non-sultation policy (e.g. no consultation) where residents are invited to a meeting to be told what has already been decided. When the same resident highlighted concerns about impact to wildlife they were asked to “provide more details of the wildlife that has been disrupted”. Residents have also queried how noise levels are measured during festivals in the park, suggesting that ground level readings have been used rather than the higher readings from the noise level that penetrates residents’ homes, especially those living in the tower blocks. This is yet another example of the Labour councils’ ongoing carnage of the natural environment and their contemptuous attitude towards local residents.