This is the response that the Community Council has sent in to the Council, with regard to a proposal to hold an electronic dance music festival event on the Links, across a weekend in May 2024.
If you wish to send in a comment yourself, whether in support or as an objection, please do so as soon as possible, as consultation is closing very shortly. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Leith Links Community Council is writing to formally OBJECT to this proposed event on Leith Links in May 2024.
It is not that the Community Council and local residents object to all / any concerts on the Links -general nimby-ism – actually, we have received lots of extremely positive comments about the Proclaimers concert organised by Regular Music last year, and an indication that more of that kind of event might be very well received locally – it is that the majority object to this particular event. The reasons for objection follow below, and basically focus on time scales, scale and noise. We believe that Leith Links and this event are not a good fit for each other. This is basically a two day festival and Leith Links is too close to a densely populated residential area for such an event.
Time-scales – Is this too close to the 8 June date for the Gala Day, in terms of letting the grass recover? And in terms of blocking off access to a large section of the park for local residents and park users?
Length of the event – This plan would apparently block off a large section of the Links for 10 days – in stark contrast to the the Proclaimers concert which was done faster, within about 4 or 5 days.
Also the weekend days of the proposed concerts are too long – much longer than the Proclaimers concerts. FLY would be 12-11pm and 12-10pm – with loud electronic music playing from three different sources, more or less continuously (whereas the Proclaimers was only 3-10 with music only playing between 6 or 7 – 10)
Finish time – It has previously been agreed with the Council that 10pm is an absolute deadline for amplified music, whether it’s a Saturday or any other day. This is so that local residents, especially those with young families, can sleep. 11pm is not acceptable
Scale – the scale of this would be similar to the Proclaimers concerts in terms of numbers of tickets sold, but the type of music would not be as universally acceptable to local residents as the Proclaimers were – it will be very loud electronic dance music. 12,000 inside the fences and potentially many other young people flooding the Links outside the enclosure might be very different to the intergenerational crowds who came for the Proclaimers.
Noise -This sounds like a 2 day non stop ‘Festival’ not just two concerts. As we know from the Proclaimers (who only played for 4 hours max per night), everyone locally can hear amplified music on the Links. Continuous loud electronic music for 11/10 hours a day would not be acceptable. This type of electronic dance music is famous for being particularly loud and penetrating. We would anticipate endless complaints from locals.
We particularly object to the three different sound sources, meaning that music would presumably be continuous. And specifically to the Landrover Defender ‘background music’ source as this is not protected by a tent, so will be even louder than from the other stages.
Location – There was a reason the festival was held previously at Hopetoun House – i.e. it was as far away as possible from residents. That would be a much more appropriate locus for this kind of event. Or a bigger park in Edinburgh further away from local residents e.g. Inverleith?
On the Links, the proposed location of the tents looks wrong, this should be as far away as possible from residential properties. (There is actually nowhere on the Links that would be far enough away!)
Traffic and Parking – There are already major parking problems around the Links. Due to the new parking restrictions on the north side of the Links, local residents on the south side of the Links now get swamped with irresponsibly parked cars mainly due to commuters on week days. In spite of public transport links nearby, there would obviously also be many cars flooding into the area for this large scale event, with resulting chaos (like a Hibs match but lasting 48 hours instead of 4 hours!!) and this would cause major inconvenience for local residents.
The Principle – The Community Council and many local residents believe that concerts should only be located on Leith Links if they bring positive benefit to the local community. We are opposed to events occupying public space that simply bring profit to the council and the event organiser, and we vigorously wish to protect Leith Links from such events. We particularly do not want to see Leith Links turned into a regular ‘cash cow’ for promoters instead of a peaceful and health giving green space available to be enjoyed by local people and visitors.
We have taken time to consult members of the local community via our website. The comments we received back were mostly negative although there were positive views mixed in with these. However, most of the positive ones seemed to be based on a belief that the event would be very similar to the Proclaimers concert last year, whereas reading the details of this application it appears to be very different to that event. Comments submitted by local residents include the following:
I strongly object to the FLY event. It’s too big, will run until late both days, will cause parking issues and will be extremely noisy. It’s not possible to have quiet electronic music! We must stop the council from presuming that they can use the Links as a full- blown concert venue and close the facility off for entire weekends. That’s not its intended purpose.
The FLY festival is too big, too long and potentially too noisy. We don’t want these sort of events, otherwise the Links will end up being a full-scale music venue and none of the residents will ever get a decent night’s sleep!
I agree with the objection to the FLY Summer of Love ‘92 two day event. Living directly on Leith Links, and with a young child, loud music and lots of visitors late at night is extremely disruptive for our family.
As a public space it (ie the Links) should cater to all age groups and tastes….The LLCC should be representative of the whole community. Let the young people have their fun also.
We had a great time during the Proclaimers, but that was because folk could sit outside the tent and enjoy the music. If the whole place was cordoned off then that wouldn’t be good. Looking forward to more events this summer.
I would fully support … The Proclaimers were amazing.