Forest Uprising

An abstract image of a forest

About the event Click to get info

Join us for the London Borough of Culture 2019 finale event!

2019 and the world is at tipping point. In December, when London is furthest from the sun and the holiday season is upon us – for many, thoughts go to friends and family, and to re-kindling the embers of relationships left untended as we race to keep up with the pace of modern life. 

Forest Uprising is the finale of Waltham Forest’s year as the first-ever London Borough of Culture. Over three days in December, an illuminated installation of tree-like structures will grow into a beautiful urban winter forest at Leyton Sports Ground. 

This outdoor winter show will see creatives from Block9 design, build and imagine a space where seeds of ideas can germinate, hopes and ambitions are encouraged, and the many voices of the forest can echo loud and clear for all to hear. 

We are currently a country divided, voices often ignored, and our future uncertain. We require whole system change – about how we live with each other and with the planet. Using music and art, Forest Uprising will explore an alternative reality of the world as it could be for the next generation. 

How to get here Click to get info

Venue: Leyton Sports Ground, 485 High Rd, Leyton, London E10 6PY

By train: Leyton Midland Road (London Overground), Leyton or Leytonstone (Central line), Lea Bridge Station (Greater Anglia) 

By bus: 97, 69, W16

General Information Click to get info

What is Forest Uprising?
Forest Uprising is the finale event of Waltham Forest’s year as the first-ever Mayor’s London Borough of Culture. Artists Block9 will transform Leyton Sports Ground with an immersive art installation piece which draws on the history of protest in the borough and imagines positive change and utopian ideals as realistic goals.

Where is the event happening?
Leyton Cricket Ground, 485 High Road, Leyton, E10 6PY

When does the event take place?
The event takes place across three evenings on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 December and will run from 5pm until 10pm.

Is the event ticketed?
This is a FREE event and you do not require a ticket to gain entry to the site, everyone is welcome to come down and experience Forest Uprising.  

Do I need to be there at 5pm?
No, the installation will be on loop and other activity around the site has been designed so you can find it all easily over the course of your visit. A perfect reason to come to all three evenings!

What time do gates open?    

Am I allowed to leave and re-enter the event?
Yes you can. The event will operate on a one in one out policy once the event space is full. If you leave the event you may have to queue to re-enter the site. Please bear this in mind if you are leaving family and friends inside the event space as you may have to wait to re-enter. 

How long will it take to experience the event?
We estimate that it will take no longer than 45 minutes to see all parts of the event. 

What food and drink is available at the event? 
There will be a small number of food and drink traders selling a range of hot vegetarian and vegan food and drinks on site, these are curated especially for the event. The food offering is vegetarian and vegan only.  Alcohol will be sold on site. No other alcoholic drinks of any kind may be brought onto the event sites. Bags and full body searches will be in operation and any unopened containers may be confiscated. 

Can I bring my own food and drink to the event?    
If you have a valid medical condition or need to bring babies milk, this is ok.

Will there be vegan food options?    
All the food will be vegetarian or vegan.

Are there cash machines on site?
There are no cash machines on site, but there are machines on the way to the event. We advise you bring enough cash with you. Most vendors will accept contactless card payments.

Is there access to free drinking water on site?
Yes. Canned water will be available from food stalls and bars, but we recommend bringing a refillable water bottle with you to help us reduce waste. 

Zero-tolerance policy
At Forest Uprising, there is a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and substance misuse. Those caught in possession of drugs will be removed from the event. This policy includes but is not limited to the following substances: nitrous oxide (‘laughing gas’) and alkyl nitrites (‘poppers’). There will be searches for drug and substances at the front entrance.

Will there be filming and photography at the event?
Yes. By entering this event you give your consent for your images to be used without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by LBWF including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, books, newspapers, magazines, television and websites.
If you have any concerns please raise them with the staff at the information marquee.
Full LBWF terms and conditions can be downloaded here. 

Can I bring DSLR camera?    
We do not allow cameras with detachable lenses such as SLR and DSLR cameras. You can bring any other camera to the festival for your personal use. Any other professional film and video equipment, which is not authorized by management in advance, will not be permitted. If you wish to film and record at the show, please get in touch.
Amateur photography does not require advance accreditation and is permitted on site.

Can I take photos?
Yes as long as it is for personal use.

Can I film the event?
Yes. If you wish to film and record at the show, please get in touch. Any other professional film and video equipment, which is not authorised by management in advance, will not be permitted.

Are drones permitted to be used within the event space?    
No - The use of drones within the event space is prohibited. 

Can I smoke at the event?
The same regulations apply at Forest Uprising as the rest of the country. You can smoke in the open air but not inside the installations, tents or seated food court. Look out of for the no smoking signs.

Where can I find my lost property?     
Any lost property handed in will be taken to the lost property area located within the information point near the Pavilion. This is clearly sign posted within the event space. If you have any trouble finding it, show ambassadors will be on hand at information points and walking around site to assist you. Lost property will be kept by the organisers for three weeks only post show. After this time, any property left unclaimed will be passed on to either a local charity shop or destroyed.

I want to volunteer at this event, how can I get involved?    
Volunteer slots are all filled for this event, but you can sign up to be a Legend of the Forest here for the opportunity to help out at events in 2020 and beyond.

What do I do if I have any concerns about the event?
We hope that residents and visitors have very few concerns about the event, as measures have been taken to ensure it is enjoyable for all. There are security deployed throughout the event site and environmental impacts, such as noise, have been tested to ensure they are within limits allowed by the Council’s enforcement team. However, if you have any concerns about the event please contact the Council by calling 020 8496 3000 Monday to Friday 9am- 5pm. 

Access Click to get info

Is the show suitable for children and families?
Yes, this event is suitable for families and people of all ages. Please be aware that we’re expecting the event to get very busy so please make sure children are supervised at all times. Wristbands will be available for all children and vulnerable adults on entry gates and information points. These wristbands enable you to write your mobile number on, but not the child’s or vulnerable adult’s name, and attach to their wrist. This means we can reunite you much quicker if you become separated. There are also meeting points on site.

Is the show wheelchair accessible?
Yes, the installations take place in step-free access areas of the cricket ground however please note that the event is on grass. Mobility scooters will be allowed access, but please note there are no charging points on site. 

Is there an accessibility entrance?    
All entrances are accessible, however please note the installation is on uneven ground as its grass.

Is there a viewing platform? 
No – there will not be a viewing platform as the installation is designed to move around rather than a show. Please be aware that it is located on grass, so in wet weather access might get muddy. 

What security arrangements are in place? Will everyone entering the site be searched?   Public safety is paramount for all public events in Waltham Forest. An assessment of the security and crowd management plans for the event is carried out in consultation with the local police the security company working the event. This is constantly reassessed up until the event. In line with all other major public events, a condition of entry is that all visitors will be subject to mandatory bag and body searches. Metal detectors will also be in operation. You are advised to allow extra time to get in, especially if you bring bags with you. Please make a note of the show’s prohibited Items before attending.

I am not able to queue. What can I do?    
Please get in touch with us before 2pm on your day of visiting and we will arrange for your entrance. Please note we still have the right to deny instant access if the site is at capacity. 

Is the event inside or outside?
The installations are outside and on grass, as such you will be required to wrap up warm, bring hats, gloves and scarfs as wear sensible footwear. 

Are there accessible toilets?    
Yes - accessible toilets are available at each of the toilet blocks on the site. All accessible toilets will be located as close to hard ground paths for easier access. 

Will there be gender neutral toilet provision?    

Is it suitable for those who are hard of hearing or deaf?
The installations are predominantly visual, but all include an audio soundtrack. The works have been designed to be enjoyed with or without audio. There will be two British Sign Language (BSL) assisted walk-throughs of the show on Friday 13 December at 6pm and 7.30pm. Places are limited and must be booked in advance. Please email with your preferred date and time allocation, including your full name and contact details.

Is there accessible parking available for Forest Uprising?
Accessible parking is available for Blue Badge Holders on a first come first served basis. It will be on Brewster Road. Stewards will be briefed to direct vehicles displaying a Blue Badge to the routes above.

Is the show suitable for someone with photosensitive epilepsy?
The installations do contain flashing lights which could trigger photosensitive epilepsy.

What advice is there for people with sensory needs?
We expect the area to be very busy. If you or your child have a sensory need such as autism, you could plan to come towards the beginning or end of each evening. The first installation will begin at 5pm, and the final loop will finish around 9.30pm. The installation will include projection, lights and sound, which could cause sensory overload. 

Will there be allocated seating available?
There is no outdoor seating provided at this event and fold out chairs will not be permitted within the event site. Visitors are permitted to bring their own walking stick seat if required.

Will there be any impact to access when the installation is in the cricket ground?   
Yes. Access to the site will be cordoned off at different times dependent on the build schedule.

What happens if it rains?    
We’ll be going ahead come rain or shine, so do check the weather forecast so you can dress appropriately.  If there are very high winds or storms we may need to change or alter admission. We advise that you check our social media channels at wfculture19 before traveling

What are the festival ground conditions like?    
The festival is located outdoors and on a green field site. The site is generally flat and accessible however please consider that as is the nature of a green field site, the ground can be uneven and conditions underfoot can be effected by weather and heavy footfall.
Please wear sensible shoes and take care in areas where ground is uneven or has been affected by adverse weather.

What medical facilities do you have in place?    
There will be a first aid point located on site. Mobile first aiders will also patrol the site at various points throughout the event. 


How do I get to the event?
All visitors are encouraged to use public transport, cycle or walk. The nearest stations are Leyton Midland Road (0.3 miles) and Leyton Underground (0.8 miles). Please check your journey at

Can I bring my bicycle to the event? 
You are encouraged to cycle to the event, but you will not be able to bring you bike onto the event sites. There is cycle parking around the event site.

What roads are being closed? 

  • Brewster Road will be closed to all non-resident vehicles between 3pm and 10pm on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 December 2019.
  • Crawley Road will be closed to all vehicles between 3pm and 10pm on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 December 2019.
  • No vehicles must be parked on Crawley Road between 3pm and 10pm on these three days. 
  • Crawley road residents with permits will be permitted to park on Brewster road (space permitting)
  • Crawley Road residents can only access their property on foot, due to crowd control requirements there will be no vehicle movement on Crawley Road. If you are a Blue badge holder, you will be able to park on nearby Brewster Road. 
  • Event stewards will be stationed at the entrance to each of the above roads to manage access for residents, emergency service vehicles, event vehicles and blue badge holders.

Controlled Parking Zones
The following Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) will be operating 8am – 9pm on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December and 3pm-9pm on Sunday 15 December:

  • BWR zone - Crawley Road, Brewster Road, Coopers Lane, part of Farmer Road
  • GGN zone - Lawton Road, Brunswick Road, King Edward Road, Grosvenor Road, Belgrave Road, part of Norlington Road, part of Hainault Road and Francis Road 
  • GGW zone - from High Road Leyton to Scotts Road

Residents with a BWR zone permit will be valid in any ‘permit holders only’ bay from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 December (with the exception of ‘Market Trader’ bays marked MT) in Waltham Forest.

There will be a no parking on Leyton High Road between Church Road and Brewster Road between 3pm and 10pm Friday 13 to Sunday 15 December.