One story which somewhat unexpectedly arrived at what passes for our newsdesk late last week was the plug being pulled on London’s Junction 2 festival. Originally due to take place this coming weekend, they cited strike action on the rail network and Enfield Council revoking their licence as a result.
The strikes they’re talking about are a series of ongoing walkouts by the RMT trade union, who represent the majority of London Underground workers. And for once, pay isn’t the issue – it’s plans by Transport for London to cut 600 jobs from the network to save costs. They believe this will be a serious risk to safety on the network.
Like so many things going wrong in Britain at the moment, blame for the disruption lies squarely at the feet of Boris Johnson. His government bailed Transport for London out to the tune of nearly £3billion between May 2020 and June 2021 and seem totally uninterested in helping resolve the problems they caused by doing so.
This was the statement which appeared on the Junction 2 socials last Friday – an FAQ section is on their website…
Junction 2 claimed in their official statement that the event was cancelled due to “ongoing industrial action” on London’s Tube network. Online chatter has raised questions about this defence, stating the nearest strike to the festival doesn’t take place until June 21st – which would be next Tuesday.
Whilst this is correct, Ears To The House can reveal a lesser reported detail in the press – and this is that overnight strikes are taking place on the London Underground every day until June 19th. Given the festival was meant to run next weekend, this could potentially have meant a significant number of people unable to get home each night. The opprobrium aimed at Enfield Council by disgruntled clubbers feels somewhat unfair to us.
Another online rumour going around is the real reason for cancellation was poor ticket sales. We looked into this over the weekend and could see no evidence to back such a claim. Indeed, from our experience, festivals with poor ticket sales are usually cancelled much sooner than the week before.
Junction 2 have not replied to an email from Ears To The House at the time of publication, but a well-placed source in the London festival world claims the allegation is false – pointing out this festival was arranged pre-pandemic when current issues in the industry were less common…