Proliferation of music festivals and other events across capital’s green spaces means disruption and restrictions to access for residents

Access to parks across London is being increasingly restricted by corporate events such as music festivals, a researcher has found, linking it to “creeping privatisation” of public space.

Findings presented at the Royal Geographical Society’s annual conference on Friday show that, more than ever before, London parks are being rented out to private companies as councils seek to boost revenue to fund key services.

Dr Andrew Smith, an urban geographer from the University of Westminster, studied the use of Finsbury Park, Gunnersbury Park and Brockwell Park and found councils were increasingly over-reliant on them as commercial assets.

The trend towards bigger and more frequent festivals in parks highlights the pressure councils are under to generate income under austerity, he said.