Apr 30, 2024 2 min read

We Are FSTVL 2024 cancelled over health and safety concerns

This year’s We Are FSTVL has been cancelled due to health and safety concerns, with recent high rainfall leaving the park where it was due to take place unable to “host the physical demands of the event’s equipment and audience”. Its “heartbroken” organisers have vowed to return in 2025

We Are FSTVL 2024 cancelled over health and safety concerns

Organisers of We Are FSTVL have said that they are “devastated” by the news that recent rainfall has made the festival’s site too unsafe for it to go ahead this year. The event was set to be headlined by Eric Prydz and Chase & Status.

“Sadly, and just days before we were due to attend on site to start the build, London Borough Of Barking And Dagenham accepted that they could not deliver a safe event space that was fit for the purpose of allowing us to stage We Are FSTVL 2024”, reads a statement.

The dance music festival was set to return to its original home at Dagenham’s Central Park, where its first edition took place in 2013. Its move from the Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Upminster and shift back to a May weekend - having taken place in August in recent years - was announced at the end of last year. 

In its own statement, the council said, “This difficult decision has been made due to health and safety concerns. LBBD's recent assessment of Central Park, after record levels of rainfall this year, has found the site cannot safely host the physical demands of We Are FSTVL’s equipment and audience”.

Organisers said that they had “invested time and money into the new site, new stages and brought in a new creative team to bring the weekend to life with immersive experiences and large art installations, alongside the already fantastic line-up”.

The number of festivals taking place in London parks has grown in recent years, providing a good revenue making opportunity for local authorities. However, given that these are intended to be public spaces, there is always a balance to be met with the needs and expectations of local residents. 

It’s not unusual for there to be significant opposition from locals, with various concerns being raised, from noise to portions of the park being out of action for significant periods of time. 

This may have had a bearing on the decision to pull approval for We Are FSTVL, going ahead on an unusually damp site may have resulted in damage to the park, in addition to any health and safety issues during the festival itself. Fixing any damage would not only result in extra costs, but would have also meant even more disruption to people wanting to use the park for its usually intended purposes.

We Are FSTVL ticketholders should expect an email about refunds in due course. Meanwhile, organisers have said that they are “heartbroken” but “can’t wait to dance with you again in 2025 and show you everything we have been working on”.

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