Wandsworth taking Lambeth to Court over SW4

February 16, 2017

As you may have seen from our Twitter feed, Wandsworth are taking Lambeth to Court over SW4, primarily about sound levels, as Lambeth did not respond constructively to earlier consultations.

The Friends have long opposed the 3-day extendesion of the event, the longer running times and increasing size and now particularly the current sound levels which have become intolerable for some.

Our detailed objections sent to Events Lambeth can be read here.

2017 Events: SW4

The Friends of Clapham Common made the following comments to Lambeth Council:


SW4 2017


1..Duration:  FCC have argued that the events continue too late into the evening. In 2015, the third day was promoted as a family day. In fact it was noisier than the Sunday and residents had to endure three nights 30 mins longer than for Live Nation in 2014. We believe all evening timings should be reduced by 30 minutes.


  1. Residents’ complaints. We note that the total average complaints per event day rose sharply from 7.5 in 2015 to 23 in 2016. This relates to the overall event experience, not just problems on the Saturday. The 2016 House of Common ‘family’ event on Monday attracted 50% more complaints than the Sunday event. North Side residents continue to suffer from SW4.


  1. Sound control. The sound report suggests that the Saturday event coincided with a westerly-blowing wind which caused West Siders in particular to complain. Given the sophistication of the latest sound projection, we suggest that when a strong wind of this nature sets in, loudspeakers and control equipment should be adjusted/re-orientated accordingly. Organisers should note that North Side residents continued to suffer and must also take account of this in positioning and direction of loudspeakers. Again, the SW4 event can only take place in SW4, so in our view, Lambeth have more bargaining power than they imagine.


  1. Nitrous Oxide cartridges. Discarded cartridges were somewhat less in evidence in 2016 over 2015, but they continue to pose a danger to grounds mowing equipment. Therefore more effort should be devoted by the organisers to pick them up after the event, including outside the fencing. This summer the route to Clapham Common station was particularly bad.


Marcus Hope, Chairman, Friends of Clapham Common, 14 November 2016


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