Hackney residents can share excitement of Olympics on big screen in Haggerston Park

The excitement and drama of the Olympic Games will be shared by the whole community in Haggerston Park, after plans to project sporting events on a giant screen at Hackney Marshes fell through in May.

The three-week Scipmylo – which spells Olympics backwards – comedy and cultural festival was scheduled to take place from July 27, but its organiser pulled out at the last minute, saying they had to put it on hold for “reasons beyond their control.”

Some events were ticketed, but unlike the massive Radio 1 Hackney Weekend music festival which took place on the Marshes in June, the Marshes would have been accessible to everyone.

Many local residents without tickets for the Games were disappointed, as their hopes to celebrate the Olympics watching the big screen in the free sport zone were dashed.

Hackney Council, which was relying on the axed-festival’s security arrangements to host the screen, contemplated whether it was possible to stage it single-handedly. But they decided security could prove a problem at the site which lies just yards from the Olympic Park.

Then this week the council announced plans to site the big screen more centrally in Haggerston Park.

“It is walled so we don’t have to put up barriers, and access can be managed,” said a council spokesman.

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“Scipmylo was a series of events which were managed and secured, so just to place a live screen on its own in the middle of the Marshes was not really going to work,” he added.

The site in the park off Queensbridge Road will be open seven days a week from 11.30am until the day’s competition ends, for the entire duration of the Olympic Games from Friday 27 July to Sunday 12 August.

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