Hackney Marsh festival axed

A three-week festival on Hackney Marsh where Olympic events were due to be shown on a big screen for the whole community has been axed at the last minute.

Scheduled to take place from July 27 to August 12, organiser Scipmylo – Olympics backwards – pulled out from hosting the Olympic cultural celebration this week.

Food, art, music, theatre and comedy, as well as a free sport zone had been planned for the 17-day celebrations just yards from the 2012 site.

Unlike the massive Radio 1 Hackney Weekend music festival taking place on the same site this month, the Marshes would have been accessible for all, although some events were ticketed.

Mock the Week panelist Milton Jones was on the bill, as well as Dylan Moran from sit com Black Books, and comedian Alan Davies who tweeted this week, “Gig I had as part of SCIPMYLO on Jul27 has been canned.” (sic)

Fans who bought tickets have taken to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook wondering if they would get a refund.

“Due to the uncertainty of the festival, Ticketmaster are proactively contacting all customers and issuing full refunds back to their cards,” said organiser Scipmylo in response.

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It also sought to quash rumours the company has gone bust: “For reasons beyond our control we have had to put the Festival on hold,” they said.

“We do hope to be able to re-start, but think it only fair not to sell tickets whilst we sort things out.

“There are various irons in the fire to rescue what will be the hottest ticket this summer.

“For the time being and to keep up with minute by minute changes follow us on Twitter or alternatively visit the site regularly for updates.”

The council is discussing whether any alternatives can take place at such short notice - although security arrangements so close to the Olympic Park could prove a problem.

Gilpin Square resident Rick Oughton said many residents were very disappointed.

“Because we haven’t got tickets for the Olympic Games, it was somewhere to go to celebrate the Olympics and watch the events on the big screen,” he said.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said they were disappointed the organiser had withdrawn.

“However, Hackney residents will have access to some of the biggest and best events this summer including the Radio 1 Hackney Weekend, the One Hackney Festival and Create 12,” he said.

“Hackney will be a fantastic place to join in and celebrate the Games and, as host borough, we are all set to make the very most of London 2012.”