Ravers and runners could overlap when Hackney Half and dance festival take place on same day
PUBLISHED: 15:31 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:01 23 February 2017
Fiona Hanson © Copyright 2016
Hundreds of sweaty people in vests could clash with hundreds of other sweaty people in vests when the Hackney Half marathon and a rave festival take place on the same day.
United Festival, featuring drum’n’bass, jungle, old skool and house music, is coming to Haggerston Park for the first time on April 30.
Up to 7,500 ravers are expected to flood to the green space to see headline acts like Calyx & Teebee and Congo Natty.
But the same morning 13,000 people will be running along Whiston Road, with hundreds more lining the street, for the Hackney Half.
One man who lives in Whiston Road and takes part in the race most years saw the festival posters and checked his diary to see if he could go – but realised there was a bit of a problem.
“I don’t understand how they can happen on the same site in the same day,” he told the Gazette. “The marathon is great for Hackney, and is a brilliant day once a year – I usually run. But I’m not sure having an extra 7,500 people come to an already very congested part of the route for an old school rave festival is a good idea.”
The town hall said because the race starts at 9am, most of the runners should have passed through Whiston Road by the time the festival starts two hours later.
The road falls about halfway through the route – 6.5 miles in. Most people should have passed through, but any slower runners could well encounter the partygoers looking to get an early start.
A town hall spokesman said: “Both the half marathon and the United Festival have been through Hackney’s event approval process. The council is supporting the organisers to ensure both are co-ordinated and we are satisfied that crowd safety, transport and event logistics will be well managed at both events.
“The Hackney Half starts at 9am so we would expect the vast majority of the runners to have passed through Whiston Road well before the festival starts.
“The festival organisers have been running events in Haggerston Park for several years and have proved they are capable of managing queues and directing attendees.
“Most attendees will arrive by public transport or on foot, and most will not arrive until after the runners have passed by this location.”