|Title||Paying for parks. Ticketed events and the commercialisation of public space|
Music festivals, sport events, funfairs, exhibitions and other ticketed events provide a source of income for authorities struggling to pay for parks. Park events are also justified as ways of making city parks more exciting and attracting a more diverse range of park users. However, commercial events are often contested as they restrict the availability of public space, and compromise the status of parks as accessible, ‘open spaces’ that are free to use. These issues are explored here by analysing Battersea Park in London which has a long track record of hosting ticketed events: including the Festival of Britain Pleasure Gardens and, more recently, Formula E motor races. Historical and contemporary analysis of Battersea Park demonstrates how ticketed events privatise park space, providing precedents for future commercialisation and development. The case study also suggests that the growing pressure to transform parks into event venues is changing the ways our parks are governed and managed. This suggests a process of neoliberalisation is occurring, but the research presented here suggests this explanation perhaps oversimplifies the nuances of park commercialisation. Ultimately, the paper highlights the conflicts and issues that arise when the exchange value of public parks is prioritised over their use value.
|Keywords||Parks, funding, events, public space, privatisation, commercialisation|
|Journal citation||37 (5), pp. 533-546|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1080/02614367.2018.1497077|
|Published online||18 Jul 2018|