‘Stay out of my park’

2017-05-02 06:01
American folk group the Lumineers performed at the Green Point Urban Park on Wednesday. But the event in the public space has left residents living nearby fuming. PHOTO: Foto24/ Jaco Marais

American folk group the Lumineers performed at the Green Point Urban Park on Wednesday. But the event in the public space has left residents living nearby fuming. PHOTO: Foto24/ Jaco Marais

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Green Point residents are fuming after being denied access to a part of the Green Point Urban Park.

The Green Point Residents and Ratepayers’ Association (GPRRA) had tried to have a concert by international band the Lumineers moved to the Cape Town Stadium, instead of the park, to save neighbouring residents from the noise and “preserve the park”.

The concert took place on Wednesday, and the residents claim all their objections were “overruled with no reasons given”.

In addition, locals are peeved that the public open space was closed to the public to allow for the set up and break down of the concert stage and other infrastructure.

However, the area used to host the concert is merely 2.7ha, or 22% of the park, says Stuart Diamond, Mayco member for assets and facilities management “The rest of the Green Point Urban Park is open for public use. Furthermore, the space that is being rented by the event organiser has always been earmarked as an events space and as such was part of the City of Cape Town’s public participation process before the council approved the City’s tariff schedule. There is a specific tariff in the schedule that relates to concerts in this area,” he adds.

The event organiser was advised at an early stage to consult with the ratepayers, and met with various ratepayers’ associations in March, Diamond says. At this meeting, issues of noise were “agreed upon and implemented”.

GPRRA chairperson Jenny McQueen says the organisation felt the event “was not appropriate” for the park and asked the City to move it to the stadium.

“The organiser would have moaned but given that there was no alternative the City could have made far more money and the organiser would have just added R50 (10%) onto their ticket sales of over R6m,” she says.

“None of the additional hours would have been needed to try and shoehorn the event into the park and the residents and visitors would not have been subjected to a week of banging for erecting and removing and no-one in the park would have been disturbed. It just does not make sense.”

“This park is precious public space and this goes against everything the park was meant for and most importantly totally unnecessary with an empty stadium next door,” McQueen adds.

However, it was not possible to move the concert to the stadium, says Diamond, as it hosted the Kaizer Chiefs soccer match for 20 000 people on Tuesday.

“This would not have allowed sufficient time to build stages, relay towers, etc.,” he says.

“The concert required a small intimate setting, which the venue provides,” he adds.

The concert was confined to the least used part of the park, Diamond says.

“It should be noted that an event of this nature has a direct economic impact on the economy of about R15m and serves as an opportunity for all residents of Cape Town to get together to enjoy an event at the Green Point Urban Park.”

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