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London Pleasure Gardens goes into administration

By | Published on Friday 3 August 2012

London Pleasure Gardens

East London venue complex London Pleasure Gardens has gone into administration, just weeks after opening.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Newham Council (which provided funding for the project) told CMU: “The decision by London Pleasure Gardens Limited to enter into voluntary administration is regrettable but understandable. It is disappointing that the anticipated visitor numbers and revenue from recent planned events have not materialised. London Pleasure Gardens won the right to operate the site for two years from the LDA and Newham Council as the winner of a Meanwhile London Competition. We continue to believe that the site has a viable long term future as a visitor attraction and destination. We will now work with the administrator once appointed to help secure our investment and to discuss the future scope and nature of our involvement”.

As previously reported, having opened at the end of June, disaster hit the site on the second weekend when the first major event to be hosted there, the Bloc festival, was shut down by police due to overcrowding. Although blame for this is yet to be fully attributed, many complained that the site was not yet ready to accept visitors.

Earlier this week, the organisers of another event due to take place at LPG, Secretsundaze Go Bang!, announced that they were moving to a new venue with just three weeks to go, saying: “For our first Secretsundaze Go Bang! mini-festival we need to be absolutely sure that our fans get the event they deserve. As part of this, after much consideration, we have decided that an alternative venue is the best choice”.

As well as this, LPG creative director Debs Armstrong also resigned last week, saying in a personal blog post on Monday: “I don’t feel now like [London Pleasure Gardens is] following the vision that we set out to do but its important to maintain that – its the whole point. Hopefully the road will swing toward it again at some point”.

London Pleasure Gardens was set up by the team behind the Shangri-La area at Glastonbury and funded by a £3 million loan from Newham Council. It had been due to fully open to the public last weekend with free entry and a big screen showing the London 2012 Olympics. However, according to Reuters, restrictions on visitor numbers put in place by the London Organising Committee Of The Olympic And Paralympic Games (LOCOG) left it mostly empty and, according to the Newham Recorder, bar staff were made redundant on Tuesday.