All Points East: how the festival gives back to the community
- Credit: Archant
It’s now just under a month since All Points East took over Victoria Park with two weekends of world-class music and a programme of free community events.
Thousands of music fans flocked to the festival site on its opening weekend to see standout performances from The Chemical Brothers, The Strokes and Christine and the Queens, followed by equally explosive headline sets from Bring Me The Horizon, Mumford & Sons and Bon Iver on weekend two.
Curated by AEG Presents, this year's epic music line-up has propelled All Points East into the upper echelons of London's summer festival offering. But what sets the 10-day event apart is the organiser's commitment to giving back to the local community. Year-round meaningful community engagement was a central pillar of AEG Presents' winning bid for the contract with Tower Hamlets council back in 2017.
Here, we talk to festival organiser Jenny Hamada about how they enhance the positive effects of All Points East.
This year saw AEG Presents and Tower Hamlets council bolster efforts to minimise environmental impact with a new and improved sustainability plan.
"The sustainability and longevity of our events is of the utmost importance to us," says Jenny. "Our aim is to ensure we work to maximise the ways in which our event makes a positive impact, while reducing negative impacts on the environment and community."
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Increasing recycling rates, achieving zero waste to landfill, using biodegradable food packaging and cutlery, and banning plastic straws are just some examples of the festival's impressive green credentials. Visitors and staff were also encouraged to use eco-friendly travel options and bring their own water bottles, while fuel came from renewable sources such as HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil).
The clear-up was equally important to preserve Victoria Park. Their 'leave no trace' policy means that every item brought into the festival site was taken with them.
AEG Presents work year-round in partnership with Tower Hamlets council to help reduce disruption to local residents and continue to go from strength to strength.
"We hold community meetings to discuss feedback, operational plans and to provide assurance that the event will cause minimal disruption to park users and the community," says Jenny.
They also set up a dedicated hotline for residents to get in touch about any concerns they have during the event.
Involving the community
Engaging with the local community was a key component to ensuring the festival's success. Working with Tower Hamlets council, local organisations and suppliers, AEG Presents held a four-day community festival inbetween the two music-focused weekends.
"In The Neighbourhood offers local residents and the general public the chance to enjoy outdoor cinema, sports, crafts, children's theatre and live music - all without spending a penny," says Jenny. "It's a great chance to give something back and showcase some of the amazing local talent."
This year's local partners included MoreYoga, Museum of London Docklands, Chisenhale Dance Space, Hackney Arts, Rich Mix and Tower Hamlets Tennis, to name just a few.
AEG Presents also raise money annually for Tower Hamlets council to support their delivery of community events such as the Novemeber fireworks, as well as supporting multiple charities through their partnership with My Cause UK.
Opportunities for young people
Showcasing east London's music talent and supporting young people played an important part in this year's All Points East. Students from arts and music college ELAM were invited to perform on the bandstand during In The Neighbourhood, with local artists QBRCK and Izco providing support for weekend show days.
Employment and training opportunities were offered to students to give them insight into event management, artist liaison, media and stage management. Pupils from local colleges including Haggerston Sixth Form were invited to visit the site during the weekday events for a tour and Q&A with the event management team, while ELAM students took part in on-site training and paid internships.
Food and drink
Across the 10 days, festival-goers were able to enjoy a selection of local street food including Holy Cow, Wingmans, BBQ Dreamz, E8 Fish, Biff's Jack Shack and Hanoi Kitchen. Drink-wise, east London brewers Truman's, Redchurch and Five Points were granted pouring rights free of charge throughout the festival. More than 20 local breweries also took part in the new Craft Beer Fair on Bank Holiday Monday.
Check out some of the highlights at allpointseastfestival.com.