It's a shame to see end of a much-loved tradition

IT is a great shame to learn of the recent decision to cancel all of this year s Kenwood concerts as they were a much-loved tradition and have become famous throughout the world. Among regular concert goers are families and tourists as well as local resid

IT is a great shame to learn of the recent decision to cancel all of this year's Kenwood concerts as they were a much-loved tradition and have become famous throughout the world. Among regular concert goers are families and tourists as well as local residents who come to listen to the music, eat picnics and enjoy the firework displays. Hardly Glastonbury!

I personally do not regard the concerts as an issue, so it does surprise me that quite a few of those who have objected are from much further away.

Acoustic reports have shown Kenwood to be one of the quietest open air concerts in London, "somewhere just above the sound of local traffic and leaves". It is of course nice to be able to hear the music if you have paid for a ticket but this can be very much dependent on wind direction. By comparison, it is possible on Hampstead Heath to hear the summer concerts in Hyde Park louder than those at Kenwood.

I believe what really has caused far more concern is the content of the music, which in an attempt to make events more commercially successful have been expanded beyond just traditional classical music. Although they are not necessarily meant to reflect the tastes of local residents, it would appear that a few have a problem as anything with a beat seems to drive some of the natives wild!


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These concerts were a very important part of the funding for Kenwood and potentially their loss could affect the maintenance of the grounds and museum, which are available to the public for free. I very much doubt if Camden will be willing to come to the rescue or if local residents will be up for a whip round.

As for the fireworks - they are one of the few positive things to come from the discovery of gunpowder, so really what is the problem? They're traditionally associated with listening to music outdoors. Everybody loves them, including children. If local residents or their pets suffer from a nervous disposition or find the distant waft of music annoying, take advantage of being able to afford double glazing and try shutting the windows.

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The Heath is full of animals which have managed to survive these events without such luxuries, probably by going to bed early.

It would be tragic for the concerts to disappear and I urge others to show their support by contacting English Heritage or Camden Council.

Paul Fishman

Hampstead Lane, N6

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