Article published: Friday, July 27th 2012
The park conservation group Friends of Platt Fields will hold an open meeting this Saturday to debate whether the South Manchester park can sustain the impact of hosting large events without more done to care for it.
Organsiers say a combination of rain and the 25,000 capacity music festival Parklife have damaged the popular park in Fallowfield. Some areas now resemble marshland, with excess surface water creating ponds deep enough to become a temporary home for some of the park’s ducks.
The state of the land has affected subsequent events, such as Mega Mela which was postponed from the weekend of 14 to 15 July and will now take place from 25 to 26 August, although Envirolution was able to go ahead last weekend as planned.
Parklife organiser Jon Drape has previously responded to criticism by saying that many measures have been undertaken in order to limit the impact of the event, including a professional sports ground recovery company hired to restore the park following the event and a hotline for residents to report problems.
It is perhaps because there are already a number of such damage limitation schemes in place that has prompted suggestions that the park simply cannot cope with an event of the scale of Parklife.
Friends of Platt Fields hope for input from Heaton and Wythenshawe Parks, which also hold an events licence. Heaton Park has also experienced significant damage to its landscape following the recent Stone Roses reunion concerts that saw 225,000 visitors across one weekend.
Another group that will be represented at the meeting is The Coalition for Platt Fields, which has been campaigning for better care of the park before, during and after large events. The group claims its petitions so far this year have been ignored.
The meeting will take place at the Lakeside Centre at Platt Fields Park on Saturday 28 July from 11am.
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