A New Events Strategy 2015 - 2020

A New Events Strategy
2015 - 2020
‘Creating a cultural space’
1. Introduction
Who are we
EventLambeth is part of Lambeth Council. We are in the Councils Cooperative Business Development cluster, part of the campaigns, media, design, digital and communications departments. Our aim is simple. To produce, organise and help others create culturally diverse events across the whole borough
which everyone can enjoy and get involved with as much or as little as they’d like. We work closely with many stakeholders including community groups,
industry colleagues, partners and residents to ensure all our events are safe and successful whilst adhering to the legal and statutory legislation. We also
work closely with our colleagues in the Lambeth filming office (to be known as FilmLambeth) to ensure we are improving the services and exploring new
ways to reinvest the surplus income from filming back into local communities and supporting grass roots film-making.
Report summary
This paper sets out the future strategy for EventLambeth and how it will be consulted on.
The strategy looks at how we will determine a future borough events programme, allocate revenue, diversify the service and support community focused
events including Lambeth Fireworks and the Lambeth Country Show.
Finance summary
The events service has a base budget and a revenue income target. Historically the income target of £1.5million has not been achieved.
The Country Show costs approximately £550,000 to run and makes income in the region of £200-250,000. The fireworks event costs £280,000 and
makes £207,000 in income.
The base budget of £576,000 supports core staffing and the two main events, Lambeth Country Show and Lambeth Fireworks.
The events strategy does not increase costs but does propose that the main council led events increase from approximately 10 major event days per year
to 40 days per year with a three way split on that income.
2. Context
EventLambeth has traditionally focused on overseeing and delivering events in Lambeth’s parks and open spaces. From the Country Show and fireworks
to facilitating a range of community events throughout the year. The principles on which this process is shaped are about providing safe and popular
events that have community benefit and are financially effective. We know that events held in Lambeth are very popular, with both our residents and
those visiting the borough.
The experience within EventLambeth and the changing opportunities available make it an appropriate time to redefine the strategy for EventLambeth. The
strategy going forward will be based on a core set of principles:
Enabling the community to lead and own community events
Delivering an excellent annual Lambeth Country Show and Lambeth fireworks
Developing and coordinating a high quality set of events across the borough based around 5 main zones (Streatham, North Lambeth, Clapham,
Brixton and Norwood)
Developing a borough-wide cultural festival that allows all zones to play a part
Diversifying the service to be more economically effective
A focus on showcasing the borough and driving visitors and tourists across the borough
EventLambeth has an income target of £1.5million. The need to achieve income can often be to the detriment of relations with the community and lead to
a range of events that are often less effective or useful in supporting the Lambeth outcomes. The team also has a base budget that it needs to use effectively.
This strategy sets out the framework for a coordinated and forward looking approach. The use of income to reinvest into open spaces is an important element of engaging local people to learn and run their own events that in turn can be financially effective.
3. Proposal and Reasons
The purpose of an effective events service is based around creating a positive experience for the borough, increasing money into the local economy and
green spaces and also raising the profile of Lambeth and the council. The opportunity to use events to help define Lambeth as a destination is important for
many of the outcomes that we are prioritising.
Aligning events to inward investment, job creation, a strong local economy and wellbeing means that it has major potential to contribute positively. The focus on income targets has distracted from these benefits whereas aligning a clear strategy that achieves income targets alongside impacting on outcomes
could be very positive.
Some of the issues here have to be considered carefully. Reviewing noise levels and charges for community events are part of the strategy. These need
to be considered carefully against the potential consequences. We are in a competitive market and have some strong locations within the borough and
need to review our strategy in light of other parts of London as well.
The estimated attendance for events in Lambeth’s parks and open spaces each year is around a million people with around 65% coming from outside of
the borough. The economic return on investment is considerable. The borough now has a wide and diverse range of cultural events and activities, which
are delivered by a variety of providers from local community groups, commercial companies and the Council.
Post 2012 Olympics has shown that there has been an increase in the demand for events and the UK events industry generates over 530,000 full time jobs
and is worth over £36.1 billion rising to £42.2 billion by 2015 and £48.4 billion by 2020.
Equally, Film and TV is an important industry for the UK, worth £4.2 billion to the annual GDP, and responsible for 120,000 full time jobs. Lambeth has
some of London’s most desirable locations and now with the new film service provider we can work to create a film friendly borough whilst protecting the
interests of residents.
This presents a superb opportunity for Lambeth to be part of the global business destination of choice and at the same time, create real growth from UK
events and filming by generating business opportunities for local firms leading to the formation of vital international business.
4.The way forward for EventLambeth
EventLambeth needs to support the outcomes of the organisation and be financially viable. The future programme will be built on robust evidence in order to
demonstrate the impact and value of events in Lambeth. We can see from the 300 events each year that there is an appetite to both attend and create
The six elements for the delivery of the Events strategy
Enabling the community to lead and own community events
Delivering an excellent annual Lambeth Country Show and Lambeth Fireworks
Developing and coordinating a high quality set of events across the borough based around 5 core zones (Streatham, Clapham, Brixton, North Lambeth
and Norwood)
Licensing of Parks and Open Spaces
Developing a Lambeth Cultural Festival
Diversifying the service to be more economically effective
These elements are explored further in the next sections.
5. Enabling the community to lead and own community events
Currently the service supports approximately between 200 and 300 community events each year. These will vary from overseeing the completion of required documents to actual hands on support and guidance. The ways of working of the team have created a situation whereby local people and groups
expect to be able to access and call on this support.
The team now needs to enable local people to manage the process more independently and also to be more financially aware of the consequences of overseeing events. We will introduce online systems including a new events app in order to enable quicker processing. We will also partner with other organisations around events training so that we are developing capacity in the community to be able to lead and run events in the future.
There are large scale commercial events with greater impact that will take place across the borough which will have ring-fenced income that will go towards
specific activities and outcomes that support Council objectives. This income will be used to create a Lambeth Community Events Fund which will enable
local residents and community groups to be able to bid for monies from this fund to help them deliver community events and support green space activities.
Where a commercial activity can be aligned to a specific outcome then the cabinet lead will determine when this is appropriate. For example, in December
2014 an experiential marketing activity took place on Windrush Square, Brixton. The income generated from this activity not only went back to Windrush
Square in the form of Environmental Impact Fees but the remainder was used to enhance Christmas activities across the Borough, including additional decorations for the Christmas Tree’s, performances on the Bandstands and a grant to a new Christmas event in Stockwell.
6. Delivering an excellent annual Lambeth Country Show and Lambeth Fireworks
These continue to be our two most significant annual events. We ensure that these are well run and have the appropriate level of promotion around them.
Lambeth Country Show will continue to be a free event for all, however, we are introducing a range of financial improvements including developing sponsorship and increasing advertising revenue.
The Fireworks became a ticketed event for the first time in 2014 following advice from the emergency services and the safety advisory group. This increase in costs, alongside a reduced events budget, led to us charging for the event. Nearly all the firework shows are now ticketed and this provides
greater assurance around finances but also being able to provide the best possible security and support. We also trialled a smaller family focussed Bonfire event in Streatham which was particularly successful. We will review the events around 5th November on an annual basis to ensure we are providing
the safest and most effective offer for residents given the decreased budget.
We will also introduce a Community Event pot that will be established through a range of specific commercial events. The intention is that the pot should
be approximately £40,000 per annum and that community based organisations can bid to this fund and be awarded contributions to their events. The aim
is to support a wide range of local led events and not simply under-writing a range of annual events. This means we will be welcoming to new initatives as
well as some of the more traditional Lambeth events.
7. Developing and coordinating a high quality set of events across the borough based around 5 core zones (Streatham, Clapham, Brixton,
North Lambeth and Norwood)
The work that is underway with the South Bank Marketing Group has helped us define the need for a set of high quality events that are spread across a
wide area in the borough.
In order to create a high quality offer we need to focus attention and effort on a core set of opportunities. By splitting the borough into 5 zones we can
spread the events effort and delivery across the borough. By considering Lambeth as zones rather than simply open spaces, it allows us to look more
broadly about how we use the space and resources available. The 5 zones are also aligned with the Councils campaigns. The aim is to develop a programme of the equivalent of 8 major event days in each zone. This could be the equivalent of 4 weekends or spread out across individual days or concentrated over a shorter period of time, with local negotiation the events may go beyond the 8 days.
Using this approach we can then apply the events team to develop an eclectic set of events that are financially viable and successful that overall creates
a compelling offer to the borough. Working with the South Bank partners we are then able to promote and sell tickets to these events. This enables Lambeth to be a destination borough and to raise our overall profile. It also reduces the pressure on any one given space.
The approach will involve building capacity in the community so the events need to be done in partnership where possible with local interested groups
including the BIDs and friends groups.
The other factor is the relationship between income and local needs. There needs to be recognition that income reinvested creates a motivation to learn
and the aspiration to raise income and demonstrate a direct benefit back into the community and open spaces. The proposal is to use profit beyond the
environmental impact fee in to a three way split with 1/3rd to go directly into the park or open space where the event took place and 1/3rd to go to Lambeth’s other parks and green spaces and the final 1/3rd to go back into the administration and income target of the events service.
The potential reduction in direct income against the income target will be offset by the number of high quality event days. The reinvestment is helping
build capacity in the community to take on and deliver a wider events programme in the future. Finally the increased footfall from visitors across the different spaces will see money spent within the local economy across a wider area than normal.
7. Developing and coordinating a high quality set of events across the borough based around 5 core zones (Streatham, Clapham, Brixton,
North Lambeth and Norwood) Cntd
The definition of the 8 major events days is important as we do not want them to interfere or replace local community activity. The 8 days are those that
are overseen by EventLambeth. They include the creation of events that involve visitors both local and beyond. They are to support both outcomes and
be financially effective. They will include music events; festivals; picnic concerts, outdoor cinema and other sporting and cultural events. These days do
not refer to the commercial letting of space such as funfairs, use of bandstands or private commercial activities. These latter activities will be used to support the establishment of a Lambeth Community Events Fund and be ring-fenced to specific activities under the guidance of the cabinet lead.
EventLambeth will actively encourage commercial, community and charity events to be hosted within the borough. Events are catergorised by size and
the number of people attending each event day. Other factors will be taken in to consideration such as environmental, residential and socio-ecomonic impacts.
Number of attendees per day
Small Events
Medium Events
Large Events
Major Events
20,000 +
Where events that are led by the council that will include numbers exceeding 5,000 visitors and attendees, there will be strict guidance on who can be
allowed to deliver the activity. They will need to meet EventLambeth guidelines that will require indications of an effective track record of delivery and
meet strict guidance as set out in the protocols and procedures for organising events in Lambeth.
The forward programme for the event days will be agreed in conjunction with the cabinet lead and the 5 area leads for Lambeth. Where an activity will go
beyond the 8 days this will be agreed through the above arrangement. Therefore a concert series or sporting event may exceed the allotted 8 days and
will need approval from the cabinet and area lead.
In order to successfully implement this approach we will need to address a range of issues such as sound levels and licensing. The potential is to create
up to 40 major event days per year across the borough that are established by EventLambeth.
The sound levels for major events will be proposed as below
Maximum Receptor Music Noise Levels
The maximum Music Noise Level (MNL) shall be 75dB L(A) eq 15 minutes (free field) outside any noise sensitive premises.
The maximum low frequency Music Noise Level (LFMNL) shall be 90 dB L(C) eq 15 minutes (free field) outside any noise sensitive premises.
Fixed noise monitoring locations have been identified for the following event sites:
Clapham Common
Streatham Common
8A Windmill Drive
32 Streatham Common South Side
14 Clapham Common West Side
24 Streatham Common North Side
Hospice - 44 Clapham Common South Side
90 Heybridge Avenue
Brockwell Park
Kennington Park
Parkview Towers
1 Kennington Park Place
c/o Norwood Road and Rosendale Road
o/s Vicarage - 37 St Agnes Place
33 Brockwell Park Gardens
Kennington Park Road – opp Blythe House
r/o 56 Dulwich Road
3 Prima Road
Acoustic Terminology
The human ear can detect a very wide range of pressure fluctuations, which are perceived as sound. In order to express these fluctuations in a manageable way, a logarithmic scale called the decibel, or dB scale is used. The decibel scale typically ranges from 0dB (the threshold of hearing) to over 120dB.
dB (decibel) - The scale on which sound pressure level is expressed.
dB(A) A-weighted decibel - This is a measure of the overall level of sound across the audible spectrum with a frequency weighting ( ‘A’ weighting) to compensate for the varying sensitivity of the human ear to sound at different frequencies.
dB(C) C-weighted decibel - This is a measure of the overall sound taking into account the low (bass) frequencies.
LAeq - This can de described in simplistic terms as the ‘average’ sound level over a given time period.
MNL – Music Noise Level - This is the (A-weighted) monitoring sound level of the music played at an event and is normally determined off-site, for example outside the nearest residential premises.
LFMNL – Low Frequency Music Noise Level - This is the (C-weighted) monitoring sound level of the music played at an event and is normally determined
off-site, for example outside the nearest residential premises.
Typical sound levels
8. Licensing of Parks and Open Spaces
EventLambeth will propose to licence its five main event sites at parks and open spaces at Clapham Common, Brockwell Park, Windrush Square,
Streatham Common and Kennington Park based around the proposed new Lambeth events strategy. This will enable greater and safer event management, whilst also providing a premises licence to our local community groups and charity organisations who have to normally apply to Council for their
own licence to cover their events.
It is anticipated that by having a licence that covers all outdoor events in these spaces we can offer a consistency in the requirements on all event organisers and make sure they are aware of those and can comply with them before an event application develops. This will also ensure that the programme is
planned and confirmed further in advance to give the local residents and LESAG (Lambeth Events Safety Advisory Group) more time to consider specific
event proposals in the knowledge that certain requirements will already have been made.
The ability to maintain local accountability for major events will be safeguarded through the process of community engagement through the event application protocols and the LESAG will be responsible for the safety of event.
The financial costs for the premises licences will be recouped from our commercial event clients should they wish to use our events premises licences
which will have set conditions. Currently EventLambeth has already licenced Windrush Square, Brockwell Park and Streatham Common which community groups can use free of charge.
9. Developing a Lambeth Cultural Festival
Lambeth is very culturally diverse and is also home to many iconic event venues and tourist attractions from the South Bank to the music venues in Brixton. The proposal is to create an iconic cultural festival that brings together all the main venues and partners together in order to celebrate and promote
Festivals draw communities together to create celebrations of cultural significance and community cohesion. They capture the best that communities create and put forward. They provide extraordinary opportunities for people to interact. They inspire and enrich audiences with volume and variety of culture.
The sheer size of a borough wide cultural festival can make it a showcase for Lambeth and all who live and visit the borough. A festival like this allows it
to communicate diversity: a diversity of choices, a diversity of food, a diversity of things to buy and sell, and a great diversity of people to meet, chat with,
and engage with.
In Chicago they host a city-wide, multi-venue, eleven-day festival which attracts up to 650,000 concertgoers and has presented more than 650 artists and
ensembles from over 80 countries since it began in 1999.
This will need proper scoping and planning as well as negotiation. It also leads to two further potential initiatives:
A Lambeth resident subsidy for the festival
A Lambeth Discount Card that gives you access to the boroughs events, leisure and culture
At this stage this needs further work to understand investment, development and return.
10. Diversifying the service to be more economically effective
EventLambeth has explored a range of ideas within the traditional remit of events. This has seen them working closely with the registrars team and
Southbank Centre to deliver the Big Wedding Weekend. The challenge is to diversify the service so that the event opportunities are not focused purely on
commercial gain.
EventLambeth will focus on:
FilmLambeth – the work on running a film service is already underway and is beginning to generate income. The major obstacle in this expanding is
around traffic and parking controls. This will be explored with the relevant teams alongside the use of open spaces for commercial filming.
Corporate Events – we have tested a corporate event within Clapham library. The pressure on the library service to generate its own income means that
as a venue it is not a viable way forward. We need to identify a suitable venue within the borough that can be a locus for corporate events. Going forward
we are also considering the New Town Hall for opportunities for community and commercial events and we are in consultation with the YNTH team.
Wandsworth have invested in a external temporary structure corporate space called Evolution in Battersea Park that generates approximately half a million per annum and we need to develop an equivalent in a suitable location. The market that this would be aimed at includes exhibitions, conferences,
wedding receptions and celebratory events.
Sponsorship & Advertising –this is an area that we need to professionalise so that we are using real stakeholder relations techniques to create meaningful sponsorship opportunities. The council also needs to develop advertising contracts for lampposts, using our assets such as bins and park railings.
There are potential cross overs with many parts of the organisation but it needs central coordination.
Trading and Training – the development of LamCo as a trading arm of communications provides an excellent opportunity for the events team to offer its
services to other authorities. Many of these do not have events management skills or a coordinated programme of delivery. The need to provide training
to people in the community as well as other authorities offers a strong trading opportunity and the promotion of events beyond the borders of Lambeth
needs to be aligned to an effective and professional set of events delivered within Lambeth.
Conference Services – the work that we have done around developing our cooperative model and the reputation that is associated with this means we
are well placed to develop a conference service. Our position at the heart of the capital with excellent transport links adds to this. We need to develop a
conference service based on an annual programme of conferences and working jointly with the boroughs venues and hotels.
The implications of this list here is that over time we are going to need to call on different skill sets and understand where we need to invest in order to
make a return. Much of the above is also focused on income realisation. This is partly to offset the change in how income is distributed from events but
also it gives longer term sustainability. The pure focus on events means that we will continue to under achieve on income and limit the positive impact we
can have on the outcomes whereas diversification means there is a protection against one area under performing.
11. An agreed structure and working practices
The implication of a diversifying service is that the events team will need to be shaped and roles redefined. These types of roles exist in a number of other
authorities but they are often explicitly about raising income whereas it is important that the relationship to outcomes is emphasised.
EventLambeth will therefore be restructured in order to reflect the strategy. Likewise the working practices of the team will need to be updated so that
they are more appropriate to a digital age. New online applications will be developed to tie in with other boroughs and to see how EventLambeth can address the concerns raised by smaller event organisers around the ’one size fits all’ application form currently used.
All events will be assessed for the benefits and impacts on the local communities and Lambeth based upon the core Council outcomes, event strategy set
of principles and income generated. Post event evaluations will be developed to see how the events met these objectives.
The ways of working around approvals, risk and insurance will be reviewed. A triage system will be used to assess the risks levels around different applications and streamline processes for users. We will look to have licences in place across key open spaces in order to reduce the bureaucracy for all community events. Largescale and those events deemed to be high risk will be required to maintain the current standards and procedures.
Where the community wants to implement new activities across the zones they will be offered the opportunity to commission the events team. This means
the usual advice will remain with improvements to training for local people but they will have the opportunity to pay for additional event management if
they want. This is part of the trading offer both to Lambeth but also beyond as part of LamCo.
12. Greater community involvement
The forward programme across all zones needs to have more oversight from the community. This should include involvement in determining the events
programme and the beneficiaries from the income raised. This should work both at a borough level and also for specific areas. The means for doing this
is via the cabinet lead and the councillor area leads. Ultimate responsibility for events sits with the cabinet member for events and the forward programme
will be presented to them in the first instance.
EventLambeth will initiate a strategy and programme to better inform the local community about how they can promote their local areas. We will continue
to build international and national industry partnerships that will help enhance the overall profile of Lambeth and places within it. We will work with the
parks programme to look at investing in event infrastructure and facilities and adopt an annual events planning programme which will provide a greater
return on investment.
We will get a greater presence on the Southbank to enable better synergy with event venues, hotels, businesses and destination attractions and work towards creating an EventLambeth Tourism Board that will build stronger and more solid tourism and business connections within Lambeth to optimise
trade development, information exchange, research and development through conferences, exhibitions and festivals.
To date EventLambeth has largely made use of spaces as they currently exist rather than developed them for more regular event use. Capital investment
could allow us to create better assets for event delivery across the year. An auditorium as seen in Edinburgh would allow us to limit damage to open
spaces but also achieve more long term guaranteed income.
13. Council Department Impacts
EventLambeth is aware that some events have an impact on a range of Council departments, especially those with statutory functions and they already
work closely with colleagues in the Highways, Licensing, Noise, Food Safety and Parks teams to ensure that events taking place in Lambeth’s Parks and
open spaces are delivered safely and within Council policies. Traditionally payment has been made for Parks Officer time as they are onsite for large
events along with Events Officers.
Going forward it is recognised that should there be 40 major event days across the borough there will be an increase in the impact on other departments.
At present, this is hard to quantify as we don’t know the format of those 40 event days and therefore what staffing requirements there may have. To this
end EventLambeth will be developing Service Level Agreements with the Noise Team, Food Health and Safety Team and Parks Department so that there
is an agreed level of monitoring, support and remuneration. These service level agreements will be assessed each year to ensure they are fit for purpose
for both EventLambeth and the other council departments, this will also mean that as events are booked in advance we can highlight those in the forthcoming year that may have a greater impact on those services.
It is proposed as part of the new event strategy that EventLambeth licence key parks and open spaces and act as the licence holder. While there will be
a marginal loss in income direct to the Licensing department as spaces such as Clapham Common will be covered by just one annual licence rather than
multiple applications, this will be balanced out by the savings made in officer resource.
14. Cooperative Parks, Healthy Lifestyles and Sports
EventLambeth strategy will provide an opportunity to co-ordinate with events providers and community groups to develop and promote physical activity
events helping to achieve the outcomes of establishing a partnership approach to increased physical activity and a healthier community as outlined in the
new proposed physical activity and sports strategy. This will include increasing participation and volunteering at existing events, developing new events to
promote health and wellbeing and increasing fundraising opportunities for good causes.
As part of the Cooperative Parks Programme, all open spaces that will be independently managed by community-led enterprises such as Streatham
Common Cooperative, will be subject to the Council’s Events Strategy. This will include a review process whereby Council-run or facilitated events will be
approved by these groups, pending appropriate safety and compliance.
In addition, a proportion of monies generated through events (including weddings or ceremonial events) will also be retained by the community-led group
to be invested in service provision/activities that support the delivery of the outcomes specified in their Agreements with the Council. The events service
application protocols for safely delivering events in parks and open spaces will also apply, particularly for medium-high risk and large events.
15. Risk management for the events strategy
The financial investment required to deliver the strategy may not be met
through income
The strategy is based on diversification of the service, creating activity across
the whole borough and having a clear forward costed programme
The income target cannot be met
The growth in event days will be achieved by working in partnership with the
community based on profit share. This means we can increase the number of
events considerably
An inability to support community events
The team are developing a training package for event organisers
There is a new website for events
The community fund is not affordable
The team has an identified community events lead
There will be specific activities to raise money for the community fund
There will be a separate identified account in order to monitor expenditure
The community does not have enough direct ownership of the strategy
The strategy will have extensive consultation
The events programme will be approved for the year on an annual basis using
local leads to approve
16. Equalities impact assessment and Community Safety
The Events Strategy is about providing activity across all the borough for every one to take part and engage. The strategy includes a Lambeth Events
Community Fund in order to ensure we can support specific community and cultural activity. The events programme is about providing accessible and a
wide ranging events programme to meet the wide set of requirements of who lives in and visits the borough.
EventLambeth work with the Lambeth Events Safety Advisory Group or LESAG as its now known. This is the safety group that determines how events
meet the requisite safety standards as approved by the emergency services and local authority. Various LESAG stakeholders may charge event organisers directly for event support, including attending the events. This will include but is not limited to London Ambulance Service, Police and Community
Safety officers. The levels of support and charging will be agreed between the event organisers and officers directly.
17. Conclusion
Implementation of this strategy will promote Lambeth to a position where the demand for cultural, community and commercial events is successfully balanced against our objective to support and protect our parks and open spaces, increase tourism to create a stronger economy and engage with our communities to stimulate a healthier and culturally diverse community.
EventLambeth will deliver a culturally diverse range of community and commercial events, filming opportunities and cultural activities that bring the following local benefits:
Ignite creative ideas and stimulate knowledge
Create and enrich communities they serve
Progress education, awareness and understanding
Bring economic growth and investment to our local communities
Promote destination image and increase tourism
Cooperative Business Development
London Borough of Lambeth
Lambeth Town Hall
Brixton Hill
020 7926 6207
Email: events@lambeth.gov.uk
Web: www.eventlambeth.co.uk
Photo Credits:
Pg 14+20
Site management – silver sky productions
Production Management – Clockworks Productions
Pg 16
Walk the Walk/Guy Aubertin