The launch event for the Peninsula Festival, which was due to star Jools Holland and Bill Wyman, has been cancelled with just a week to go.
The two-day London Blues and Soul Festival had been due to feature performances from the former Squeeze and Rolling Stones stars alongside Marc Almond and Ruby Turner.
It had been due to take place at “Area 12”, a plot of land opposite Millennium Primary School on the Greenwich Peninsula, with tickets costing £35 for a night or £60 for both. But no work has started on converting the site to a concert venue, and the event has disappeared from the Peninsula Festival website, although it still claims Holland and Wyman will be performing. If you search on Google for the event, the sales page carries confirmation of the cancellation.
It’s the latest blow to hit the Peninsula Festival, where construction work on its flagship beach – which organiser Frank Dekker wanted to open for summer 2011, and was later due to open in May – has been delayed, apparently due to the bad weather and complications with the Olympics which the site was meant to complement.
It was the original site for the London Blues and Soul Festival, before it was moved to Area 12. The Beach’s page on the Peninsula Festival website is currently blank, and it doesn’t feature on the poster for the event.
Last month, Frank Dekker apologised after a club promoter claimed there were “no sound limits” for the beach, prompting an outraged response from a local councillor on the Isle of Dogs.
Dutch camping firm Oranjecamping has also pulled out of the Peninsula Festival, and has now moved its operations to a site in Walthamstow. There is still little sign of work beginning on the festival campsite.
Remaining Peninsula Festival events include Olympic events on a big screen, a “family fun day” featuring reality TV star Mark Wright and tribute bands (adults £15, children £5), the Eastern Electrics dance festival, a concert by Turkish musician Beduk and a festival of Caribbean-themed music.
It is holding a series of seminars on the site, one of which focuses on social media. Neither the festival’s Facebook or Twitter pages have carried news of the Blues and Soul Festival’s cancellation. Two seminars, on sporting legacy and urban regeneration, are backed by Greenwich Council.
The festival even has its own song, performed by Dutch band Sonny’s, Inc, who will perform at the end of each seminar.
Greenwich Council gave the festival £50,000 for “community” events, which is funding the big screen. Sales have also been slow for another Dutch enterprise, Sail Royal Greenwich, although organisers say it is in no danger of being cancelled.
While the Peninsula Festival has been hit by problems, they are tiny compared to events unfolding across the river with the London Pleasure Gardens in Silvertown.
Based next to the old Millennium Mills building at the Royal Victoria Dock, and funded by a £3m loan from Newham Council, it was overwhelmed by the numbers attending last weekend’s Bloc Festival, which ended up being called off, resulting in its organisers going into administration.