Lambeth council’s free firework display in Brockwell Park last night took its awe-struck audience on a musical journey from early spring to deepest winter.
Introduced by the Mayor of Lambeth at just after 8pm on a mild November night, an estimated 100,000 people were wowed by the pyrotechnics, over a well-crafted and humorous soundtrack that left viewers singing along and dancing.
The event was so popular that thousands were unable to get into the main arena, and many others complained about “chaos” as tens of thousands tried to leave Brockwell Park.
The soundtrack for the 30-minute display hand-picked the classics, with a warm Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles introducing Spring with sunny burst of bright flares. Summer Loving, from the musical Grease, reminded many of us of lazing in Brockwell a few months earlier. It grew colder, but didn’t end there. We were tapping our toes to Dancing in September, before suddenly all the leaves were brown for California Dreaming on a winters day.
In what felt like the busiest Brockwell Park Fireworks ever, tens of thousands flocked to the event. At one point Dulwich Road was closed to traffic as police and marshalls regulated the flow of people out of the gates. One Brixton resident, Siobhan Turner, tweeted: “Great fireworks display (despite the chaos leaving). Needed more police / marshalls. I hope everyone donated!”
Others were less happy with crowd management at the event. Ione Walder said the event was “badly organised”. She told Brixton Blog: “Huge bottleneck at gate, thus junction blocked, had to watch from road with burning debris raining down on us. Guess they didn’t take account of wind direction? Felt dangerous.”
Lambeth’s only firework event (there used to be three) was scheduled for Clapham this year, but moved to Brockwell Park for safety and crowding concerns.
Charmain Crozier said on Twitter: “So many of us they wouldn’t let us leave – gates closed and people climbing fences.” But others couldn’t even make it to the park. Laura Betts said: “Couldn’t get there on transport, too packed, tried for 2 hours now going home.”