Battles of the councils

Wandsworth Council are taking legal action against Lambeth Council, over the noise pollution and anti-social behaviour surrounding the Lambeth-backed ‘SW4’ Drum & Bass festival.

South West Four is a three time nominated drum & bass festival that takes place in Clapham Common. In recent years the festival has been subject to controversy as noise pollution, drug taking and general anti-social behaviour has disturbed both residents of Lambeth and neighbouring borough Wandsworth.

This year’s event is set to take place on the August bank holiday weekend and will feature the likes of Pendulum and Sigma with music playing from 12pm to as late as 11pm.

Wandsworth Council are taking their public battle against the noise conditions and length of the SW4 festival to the magistrates court, imposing new conditions on the new license Lambeth council have been granted whereby they can hold up to 8 days’ worth of concerts on the Clapham Common.

Lambeth Council have given the green light for the festival despite complaints made last year, restricting it to 2 days instead of three like previous years but retaining the noise level.

However Wandsworth council are imposing that the festival returns to its 2015 regulations whereby the noise levels are dramatically reduced. Environmental spokesperson Counsellor Jonathon Cook spoke on the issue saying “Our sole aim is to redress the balance in the interest of both festival goers and local residents.”

This lawsuit comes after last year’s festival caused ‘unnecessary disturbances’ amongst the residents of Wandsworth and since the common is geographically situated on Wandsworth as well as Lambeth they feel it is a ‘reasonable compromise’ They also put forward the point that Lambeth have failed to compromise despite their case benefiting residents of Lambeth who live near Clapham Common.

Festival goers expressed their discontent stating that music festivals contribute to their music culture and bring communities together and that reducing the sound diminishes the whole experience and ruins the festival for not only the audience but the DJ’s, many are also that worried the reduction in sound could potentially stop big names in the Drum & Bass scene from wanting to participate. Their last message being that they hope for a deal to be reached that doesn’t compromise the experience for music fans.

As for the drug taking SW4 officials have stated that people are searched upon entry and sniffer dogs will be in operation and any drug dealers operating will be held until police arrive and any individuals caught with drugs will be removed from the festival.

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