The Lambeth Country Show must go on, says councillor
One of the UK’s biggest free festivals is approaching, albeit two months late and with the event closing an hour earlier than usual.
The Lambeth Country Show’s line-up of reggae stars and other musicians has been announced along with the flower show and other attractions, such as sheep shearing.
Yet there are still concerns that the show will be scaled down from last year’s festival, that drew about 180,000 revellers – the same number as Glastonbury.
Councillor Jeremy Clyne said: “I am pleased that the hugely popular country show is going ahead after all, albeit on a reduced scale.
“The council tried to scrap the show this year but was forced to reinstate it through the weight of public opinion.
“Let’s just hope that the weather is kind. Holding this event in September is clearly more of a risk than the usual date in July.”
Councillor John Whelan also said commercial sponsors may not have been impressed by the change in timing.
Coun Whelan said: “I’d be surprised if it is on the scale of previous years.”
In February, the council performed a u-turn after cancelling the show over security fears and overstretched police resources during the Olympics.
Almost 2,000 people signed a petition against the decision to take a break, which prompted a huge outcry.
The budget of the show, on September 15 and 16, from 11am to 6pm in Brockwell Park, is £400,000 compared to £470,000 spent last year.
Councillor Sally Prentice, cabinet member for culture, leisure and the Olympics, said: “This year’s Lambeth Country Show will again offer some top quality entertainment.
“This is the perfect showcase for the borough’s vibrancy and creativity, reflecting all that’s great about living in this part of south London.”
Hollie Cook, the daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook, who supported the Stone Roses last month, will take to the stage as part of the line-up.
On the first day the blues, rock and dance act Little Axe will open the show and electro reggae and folk band Dreadzone will bring it to a close.
Dreadzone, who have been performing for almost two decades, will feature Jamaican born Lambeth resident Earl 16 on vocals.
Sunday’s headliners are reggae maestro Dennis Bovell and his band, featuring Janet Kay, known for hit single Silly Games, and Peter Hunningale, plus special guest Anthony B from Jamaica.
There will also be the 38th edition of the Lambeth Horticultural Society Flower Show, which features the flower zone’s annual scarecrow competition in a special one-off jubilee theme.
For more information visit lambeth.gov.uk or twitter. com/lblcountryshow.