LPG suffered from Olympic visitor capacity cuts

Unexpected capacity cuts and low visitor numbers to London Pleasure Gardens (LPG) during the Olympics may have been central to the venue's downfall.

The venue went into administration last week
The venue went into administration last week

The new east London festival venue went into administration last Friday (7 August) after a string of problems with access and capacity.

Bar staff provider Soul Shakers told Event it prepared staff and resources for numbers as great as 35,000 people a day during the Olympics, when the visitor numbers have been reported to be under 7,000.

Deborah Armstrong, who left her position on LPG's board in mid-July, said: "At that point I knew LPG was being driven somewhere other than the creative, cultural and community vision I had created, but there was no reason to believe there would be a reduced Olympic audience coming from the Excel and administration was not being discussed. I have been devastated to hear the recent news." 

The appointed administrator Deloitte said London Pleasure Gardens had underperformed on its business plan with "far fewer visitors than originally envisaged passing through the site and using its facilities".

The venue has been created from the former derelict Pontoon Dock and sits on one of two exit routes from Excel London, one of the busiest Olympic venues.

It planned to attract visitors leaving Excel to its free Last Mile festival to celebrate the Olympics, which is continuing to taking place despite staff at the venue being made redundant.

In July, LPG said Olympic organiser Locog had restricted the venue to Olympic ticket holders only, as well as 2,500 local residents a day to alleviate strain on public transport. LPG cancelled all ticketed events at the festival.

Locog told Event that restrictions on the venue during the Olympics were agreed "at the outset".

It said: "Sensible business planning to allow the DLR to cope with a large influx of passengers during the Olympic events at Excel meant that temporary limitations on promoting the Pleasure Gardens at Games time were agreed with the venue at the outset and would have been factored into their business model."

it added: "Locog has certainly been encouraging spectators choosing to leave the Excel Centre that way to make use of the Pleasure Garden facilities."

Current LPG Director Garfield Hackett said he couldn't comment on Last Mile festival as his current focus was to ensure the venue's creditors received payment.

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