Sunday, 5 August 2012

The war on terror and sandwiches in Victoria Park

If you've visited the BT London Live event in Victoria Park you may be aware that the event has been a less than happy happening for some people - primarily because of the approach to security.

The security entrance to Victoria Park

Now we know where all the missing crowd barriers at Mile End went! (see BT London Live @Victoria Park - Crowd Management at Mile End)

Note that there's more security people than people trying to enter? The only night they've had a lot attend was the Opening Ceremony when 15,000 attended.
Many who bought tickets in advance felt like they wasted money - as there's no need to queue most of the time and not a lot of people are attending.  Numbers this last week have been way down on what was projected.

You may have noticed the huge amount of empty space in the park in the video that went viral of the Mayor stuck on the zip wire.  At least the event has gone viral around the world as a result!

Warnings on the way out only?

It's possible Boris missed this one - we did!

This warning (see below) was on the way out only.  That means that if you enter they can photograph and film you and then display it for all time - but they won't tell you so before you enter!

A Warning Notice - which was seen for the first time on the way out of the event!

No food and drink allowed in Victoria Park (which is cNOT as per Olympic Regs.)

Unlike the Community Big Screens whhich BT are sponsoring elsewhere in London - where people are encouraged to bring picnics with them - the Live Nation Event in Victoria Park refuses to allow ANY food beyond the security check

They make everyone including small children go through airport style security including a hand-held metal detector search and a bag x-ray.

They refuse to allow any food and drink into the venue
The email I received after complaining to live nation about the no food rule said if I wanted to bring food due to allergies I would need to produce a doctors note! Absolute madness.
Here's a list of things which security have so far forced people to dump
  • drinks bottles
  • picnics
  • sandwiches
  • bags of crisps
  • one apple 
Just been turned away from Victoria Park because of a child's scooter though there is nothing about scooters on the website. Can't you at least have a tent or somewhere to leave them in? Scooters are tricky to lock up and it's a long walk for a 5 year old without one. Was all set to spend money inside - and it was looking pretty empty in there - so seems a commercial error too.
They say this is because what the regulation say.

However they don't seem to have read exactly what the OFFICIAL PROHIBITED AND RESTRICTED ITEMS RE OLYMPIC VENUES actually says.

The only conclusion we can come to is that the prohibition in food and drink is entirely about making money off people - including all those who may be trying to exist on a very limited budget.

If the Council knew this before it happened they should be ashamed of themselves!  Check out the prices.
Only options were burgers, noodles, ice-cream,fizzy drinks, coffee or sweets. No fruit, no salad, no juice.

Typical prices being charged are:
  • "London 2012" branded drink bottles - £7 each
  • coke/sprite/fanta/water for £2-£3 each
  • Jug of cocktails £30 (suspected to be fruit juice)
  • Pint of Lager £4.20
  • Cadburys branded ice creams only £3 each
  • Junk food (people are complaining about the lack of healthy options) eg 
    • £4 for a burger 
    • £3 for not a lot of chips - some being branded inedible
We knew the rules, but the variety and quality of food & drink is shocking.
Plus there's a consensus that some of the food being served is inedible - note what gets dumped around the park!

For more details and comments see

We trust that Tower Hamlets Council's Environmental Health are checking the quality of the food and drink as well as the noise.

If you're going to BT London Live at Victoria Park

Here's our RECOMMENDATIONS if you're planning on attending this event next week.
  2. If you don't make sure you bring lots of money with you for the expensive food and drink inside the event. 
  3. Print out and take with you this list of what's NOT allowed in Olympic venues - Prohibited Items (pdf file).  The only item relating to food is "excessive food" - and that's not the same as all food.  If somebody asks you to dump food ask to see the regulations which says no food is allowed in - and then whip out your copy of the official regulations!  Note that ALL the Olympic Venues allow people to take food in.  If they refuse it's absolutely nothing to do with security and is everything to do with extracting money from your wallet.
  4. When reading the Facebook Page remember that it relates to both the Hyde Park and the Victoria Park site:
    • all the crowd photos relate to Hyde Park - the only images of Victoria Park have involved lots of grass and not a lot of people
    • people seem to have been enjoying themselves more at Hyde Park
  5. There is nothing to say that non-breakable containers of 500ml or bigger are not allowed (as per the official restrictions)
  6. You are not allowed to bring in - as per the OFFICIAL prohibitions and restrictioms. 
    • Glass bottles larger than 100ml
    • More than 100ml in liquids
    • excessive amounts of food
Alternative Sites

This weekend there's The Games on a Big Screen in Langdon Park - a free family event delivered by housing and regeneration community association Poplar HARCA

Lewisham Council have a 7.6m x 4.8m screen positioned on a Lewisham Live Big Screen on the heath at Blackheath for local residents and visitors. It's being run by the Council and you can bring your own food - in fact they encourage you to do so. There's also a number of alternative cafes, restaurants, bars and shops in Blackheath Village.


  1. Live Nation (who owns Ticketmaster) is a Californian company. So why was it awarded the contract for BTLive and the hated 'not fit for purpose' Olympic TIckets system? Earlier I just tried to get into BTLive Hyde Park - I was stopped for having an old D80 Nickon camera with a kit-set zoom lens slightly over 6 inches when fully extended. And I had a small bottle of water - as is my HUMAN RIGHT for potable water. The water was taken from me. I was refused entry due to my camera. However on the way out I photographed the draconian conditions of entry - they were in small print on a board 6 foot / 2 metres high!! It took 15 minutes to read all of the exclusions. NOT A GOOD WELCOME TO LONDON 2012. So from now on I'm boycotting BT and Cadburys and anything organised by Live Nation / Ticketmaster.

  2. The Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank has a large screen for free viewing of the Olympics. They allow food and drinks to be taken in there and they even have a bar. Also they don't abusively search anyone going in like Live Nation does.

    Live Nation are a purely for-profit oriented entertainment company based in California. They haven't a clue about British hospitality, even less about running an event like BTLive, and NOTHING about meeting the needs of the public. And their 'security / bag searching / wand waving' staff need to go to a 'smile and be nice' course before being let loose on the public. Incidentally in 2008 40 MPs signed an early day motion about Live Nation's less than transparent booking fee charging practices with Ticketmaster. See: There is also world-wide boycott of Live Nation / Ticketmaster events amongst many musicians.

  3. I was surprised the entry rules at BT Live events were more strict then entering Olympic Park. I didn't have problems with security at Olympic park, but I wasn't allowed to enter Victoria Park on the same day.


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