Happy hour for German beer festival as it wins council approval for event in Grange Park

Oktoberfest has a ‘global reputation for being a celebration of beer’. Photograph: London Oktoberfest

A German beer festival has won the go-ahead to use a park in Kilburn for an event that could attract up to 1,000 people a day.

It is the first time that World Wide Festival UK Ltd will stage the Oktoberfest in the council-owned Grange Park since 2016.

The ticketed event includes live music, German food and beer, and waiting staff dressed up in traditional German dirndls and lederhosen.

The company has already brewed up events for this autumn in Ealing and Fulham.

Company director Carsten Raun told Camden Council’s licensing committee he wants to work with residents and discuss any concerns.

He has applied to hold events in the park for two weekends a year but said it was likely that only one would go ahead this year.

He said: “Oktoberfest itself is an event about being together.”

Many guests dress up in German costume, making it “a little carnival”, he explained.

Resident Gary Finnerty told the  licensing committee he was concerned that the Oktoberfest tent could be put up “very close to residential buildings”.

“We’re concerned about noise,” he added.

Residents were affected by noise at unsocial hours from a recent event in the park, Finnerty said.

He is also concerned that the toilets would be “literally outside” a residential block.

After hearing from residents, Raun agreed to reduce the hours for live music until 10pm – 45 minutes earlier than the original proposals for Thursday to Saturday nights.

He said he has been working to reduce the impact on residents and wants to have a “long-term relationship” with them.

He explained there is a noise test the day before the event to reassure residents.

There will also be stewards to ensure people go straight out from the park to the high street and he expects people to have dispersed “within half an hour”.

Friends of Kilburn Grange Park chair Ajay Kumble said they supported the event following the first Oktoberfest event in the park in 2016 after their concerns about noise and dispersal were alleviated.

Licensing committee chair Gio Spinella welcomed events that bring the community together, and said: “We want this event to work well.”

He added: “Oktoberfest has a global reputation for being a celebration of beer”.

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