Tokyo World festival quits Eastville Park

THIS year’s Tokyo World dance music festival has been cancelled – and organisers say the event is leaving Eastville Park permanently.

The event had been due to take place on September 16 and 17, with tickets already on sale and a licensing application for the next three years made during April.

But in June the team behind the festival issued a statement saying, “with heavy hearts and deep regret”, that the festival could not go ahead, citing safety and security issues.

The organisers said: “Our entire team is devastated by this and pretty lost for words, but we would like to thank the thousands of you who have supported us this year and in recent years.

“We may be back next year, in a new location, but there are too many growing challenges with using Eastville Park this year that cannot be overcome.

“We’ve worked hard with the council and police, who have been supportive, but we have not been able to find workable solutions to the challenges of this location in order to keep the event safe and secure in the surrounding area and roads.

“As a team of family people, we feel we need to prioritise your safety as you arrive and leave the event, as well as once inside.”

The announcement means that in the space of four years both dance music festivals that used Eastville Park as a venue have quit.

Love Saves The Day, which is held in late May, was last held in the park in 2019 and moved to Ashton Court after what would have been its final visit to Eastville was cancelled due to the lockdown in 2020.

Tokyo World had been held nine times at the park in mid-September, attracting a crowd of about 20,000 people per day.

This year’s event was due to be headlined by Pendulum and Rudimental, while previous year’s festivals have included performances from Craig David, De La Soul, Sister Sledge, Busta Rhymes, Grandmaster Flash, Artful Dodger and Big Narstie.

Both Tokyo World and Love Saves The Day had made financial contributions to the park, both via the city council and directly to the Friends of Eastville Park.

But people living near the park complained about issues including noise from the site’s sound systems, litter and festival-goers using gardens as toilets.

Friends of Eastville Park chair Sarah West said there had always been a “mixed reaction” to festivals in Eastville Park, which had helped fund the current revamp of the park’s play area, but led to paths being blocked off for several weeks, affecting access for disabled park users.

An increase in fees charged by the council to cover cuts in central government funding has meant that festivals needed to find bigger spaces like the Downs and Ashton Court to be viable, with Eastville Park expected to host smaller community-based festivals and events.

Sarah said: “We hope that Tokyo World and Love Saves the Day organisers will join us in Eastville Park to open the new play area this July, which wouldn’t have been possible without the funds they provided over the years.”