Police approve Hainault festival to go ahead despite four stabbings the day before

One man who was knifed sustained life-changing injuries. Picture: Paul Bennett

One man who was knifed sustained life-changing injuries. Picture: Paul Bennett - Credit: Archant

A festival was allowed to go ahead in Hainault despite there being four stabbings at an event the day before.

Police were called at 7.35pm on Saturday, June 30, to Garage Nation Festival, Hainault Forest Country Park, RomfordRoad, after a celebration of old-school tunes descended into a bloody brawl in the VIP area.

Angry residents have blasted Redbridge Council for not pulling the plug on the Sun Born Festival and the Moon Dance Festival scheduled for the next day, Sunday (July 1).

A resident who did not want to be named said the local authority is “more interested in party revenue than safety.”

“How can they let another event with thousands of people, take place,” they said.

“Someone clearly got into the festival with a knife the day before – the security was a complete joke.

In council correspondence seen by the Recorder a senior staff member wrote that police gave permission for other events to go ahead.

Most Read

“The event organiser had police on site throughout alongside the security team who dealt with the incident,” it read.

“The organiser has been working with the police throughout the evening. Following the incident, an emergency meeting was held between the organiser and police and the police decided the event could continue.

“The event (on Sunday) is much smaller with an anticipated attendance of 7,000 compared to 13,000 yesterday.”

He added that Garage Nation was very successful last year and it is “very disappointing for all” how this year’s festival turned out.

Leader of the council, Councillor Jas Athwal said the stabbings involved a minority and the “15,000” other party revellers had a good time.

He also said that the security measures were thorough.

“We want residents to have a good time and we will not give in to these violent acts.

“The trouble was isolated and police gave assurances there would be more police the next day and they could manage the event the following day.

“As you can see, nothing happened and lots of people had a great time.”

A Met Police spokesman confirmed the council’s statement, and the Garage Nation organisers have been contacted for comment with no response.