The Festival Next Door

10 survival tips for coping with the annual mayhem

Across the capital this summer, numerous outdoor festivals and carnivals are gearing up to accommodate the crowds, live bands, displays and entertainment on our parklands and green spaces.

Here’s just some of the upcoming events:

  • BST, Hyde Park
  • Wireless, Finsbury Park
  • All Points East, Victoria Park
  • Somerset House, Summer Series
  • Uptown Festival, Blackheath
  • Greenwich Summer, Sounds
  • Community Festival, Crystal Palace
  • Kew the Music
  • Kenwood House
  • Kaleidoscope, Alexandera Palace
  • Nottinghill Carnival
  • Junction 2 Festival, Brentford
  • Elrow Town, Dagenham
  • Festival 14, Canary Wharf
  • Rally, Southwark Park
  • Hospitality in the Wood, Beckenham
  • Eastern Electrics, Lee Valley
  • Battersea Park in Concert
  • Pub in the Park, Chiswick House & Gardens

Great fun for those planning to visit and enjoy the revelries… before returning home to peace and quiet. Not so great if you happen to live next door or in the near vicinity to one of these events. Many of these are an annual occurrence that local residents have to contend with every year – and not everyone welcomes it.

Here’s our top 10 tips for coping with the festival in your backyard!

  1. Be prepared
    Seems like an obvious one, but often when a crowd descends around your home, all of a sudden public transport and roads can be blocked and local shops may be stripped of essential supplies. Think ahead, where do you need to be, or not be during the festival dates? For example, don’t plan a complex journey where punctuality is key, as you could well be delayed. Stock up on essentials and ensure you have enough supplies to keep you going so you can hunker down and avoid the masses.
  2. Noise management
    The biggest complaint aside from anti-social behaviour, littering and drunken antics, is the sound levels. Depending on which way the wind is blowing and how loud the music is (and whether you like it!) it can be more or less troublesome. You may prefer to remain indoors and to keep your windows closed to minimise sound pollution. In which case, do you have sufficient fans, ice in the freezer, and other tools to mitigate the summer heat? You might consider hiring an air conditioning unit for the spell. Anything for a quiet life.
  3. Drown out the sound
    Despite keeping windows closed, the relentless ‘thud, thud’ of the bass, or vibration of the speakers can be a major irritation. Although there is almost always a curfew in place these orgnaised events, and the sound must cease at a reasonable hour – 10.30pm seems to be a common limit – it can nevertheless be a headache for those who retire early, or who have children.

    There’s a wide array of ear plugs available in your local chemist or online, some are more effective than others – we find the mouldable silicon variety exclude the most noise. Or take back your power with some noise-cancelling earphones, which both help to cut external sound and distract you with music, the radio, a podcast or sounds of your choosing. White noise, such as a fan in the background can also help to soothe and distract from the more distant racket.

  4. Be somewhere else
    Some events go beyond the weekend. Can you arrange to be somewhere else for the duration or at least part of the event? You could visit a relative, or stay with friends – far enough away to avoid the festival activity, but near enough to continue daily life such as work and school perhaps.
  5. Take a break
    Go all out and get away for the weekend. Book a hotel, Airbnb, cottage, or go camping and give yourself the peace you desire and a change of scenery to boot
  6. Hyde Park Festival
    Hyde Park Festival
    Notting Hill Carnival
    Notting Hill Carnival


  7. Rent your property
    Turn a negative into a positive! If you are planning to escape, then you could also be quite canny and rent your property to a festival goer. We’ve heard reports of the occasional short let through a reputable company being a useful annual earner. But do your homework and due diligence, of course, before opening your home to the unknown.
  8. If you can’t beat them, join them
    The other winning option is to get a ticket and just join in. You’ll be chuffed to be able to stroll home and fall into bed afterwards whilst others cue for car parks and tubes and face a long, arduous late-night journey.
  9. Throw your own party
    Take the opportunity to make some of your own noise. Throw a barbeque, invite the neighbours and spread some cheer with other locals also looking for ways to drown out the din. But remember to be reasonable – you can happily host your own 80’s Dad Disco but stick to the curfew and don’t add more misery to those in easy hearing distance who aren’t invited. Be kind.
  10. Protest
    If it really is unbearable, unreasonable and causes local trouble, then you are well within your rights to complain. Say nothing and nothing gets done. Start by writing to your MP, or get a petition together using the various online tools like
    Also see
  11. Acceptance
    Then there is the Zen way. Take a deep breathe, exhale slowly and just let go. You can’t control what’s happening out there, so why make yourself any more miserable. It will pass in time, it always does… and fighting it can be exhausting.
  12. Whatever approach you take, we wish you luck with your festival strategy and hope it doesn’t cause you too much strife.