Brentford Festival Stays in Blondin Park For Third Year

Organiser Linda Massey explains why

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The decision of where to host Brentford Festival has become a question as difficult as choosing red or black on a roulette wheel!

However, after a great deal of negotiation and weighing up pros and cons, Brentford Festival Committee is at last able to confirm it is to be a hat-trick of wins for Blondin Park!

This means the park, just over the borough boundary in Northfields will for the third year running host the festival. It will take place on Sunday September 6 from noon-6pm and will feature all the usual stalls, activities, music, food and loads loads more!

As regular visitors to the highlight event of late summer locally will be aware, the last two festivals have been staged in the London Borough of Ealing, rather than at its traditional home of Boston Manor Park in the London Borough of Hounslow. The switch was made following a disagreement between organisers and representatives from Hounslow's previous parks contractor John Laing over various aspects including funding and staffing.

Councillors and officers from Hounslow have remained keen to see the festival staged in Boston Manor once more and last year's event at Blondin was even visited by the council leader Councillor Steve Curran who expressed a strong wish to hold a meeting to negotiate a new agreement.

A basic survey carried out at the  conclusion of last years event among those who volunteered or ran stalls didn't provide a clear picture of which venue was more popular as those who came from Ealing voted for Blondin, while those from Hounslow favoured Boston Manor! Many others indicated no preference at all and claimed they enjoyed themselves no matter which park played host!

Attendance by the public has also been consistently high, with last years exceptional weather also playing a part in producing figures well into the thousands.

Regrettably despite communications taking place including a early indication the council did not expect money to change hands and also was willing to consider using Section 106 funding to cover certain staging costs, the committee felt not enough progress had been made on ongoing matters of park maintenance at Boston Manor by John Laing's replacement Carillion these past few months to be able to consider bringing the festival back there this year.

Festival event manager Linda Massey said:"Looking ahead we feel that it will be easier for us to deliver the event in Blondin Park where it has been for the past two years.

"We have more voluntary support because of the location and hopefully will be able to attract new participants and grant givers in future years.

" Despite basing in Ealing again, we remain fully committed to the communities of Brentford, Hounslow and beyond and last year it was certainly good to see so many Hounslow groups register with us. Naturally we look forward to more of the same in 2015.

"There is much work to do in order to top the success of last year but thanks to our amazingly dedicated team of volunteers, and the overwhelmingly consistent support shown to us by the London Borough of Ealing, we're going to go all out for an event which residents of both boroughs can be proud of!"

Preparations are already underway, with a grant to provide more seating already applied for and an approach made to Gunnersbury Catholic School to organise a competition to design a new website for the festival.  Those wishing to participate can now visit the current website and download their registration forms. 

The next few months promise to be hugely exciting with all suggestions and volunteering of help gratefully received.

You can contact Linda Massey or any of the team via the website



March 5, 2015

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