The countdown is now on for Africa Express: The Circus! To help you prepare for the event, we've put together some frequently asked questions, from how to get tickets to how to find your way to the Big Top.

Venue & tickets 

Where is the event taking place?
The event will be taking place in a big top circus tent erected on Wanstead Flats, Bush Road, Leytonstone, London E11 3AE – opposite Henry Reynolds Gardens.

Is this a circus event? 
No, the event is a music concert, but it will take place in a circus-style Big Top.

What are the times of the event?
Gates will open at 4pm when entertainment will begin. The event will finish at 11pm. Last entry will be 9pm.

What are the nearest tube stations?
Leytonstone Underground Station and Wanstead Underground Station are both on the Central Line (with a 24-hour service on Friday and Saturday).

Does either have step free access to the platform? 
Neither Leytonstone nor Wanstead Stations have step free access.

Which bus routes do I use to get to the event?
From Walthamstow: 257, W15, W19
From Central London: 19, 38 or 55, change to W15 (Night buses will be running) 

How much do tickets cost?
Tickets are priced £16.50 (incl. £1.50 booking fee) concessions and £22 (including £2 booking fee) full price, and go on pre-sale for Waltham Forest residents on Friday 15 February at 10am. General public sale begins Monday 18 February at 10am. Tickets are limited to four per person. 

Who are eligible for concessions?
•    Senior citizens and those mainly reliant on State Pension (both aged under and over the age of 65)
•    Those unemployed or working who are in receipt of any state benefits, and their dependents
•    Asylum seekers
•    Children under the age of 16
•    Veterans
•    Disabled people 

Can I collect my tickets from an onsite box office?
No, you will need to bring your ticket with you. When booking you will be able to choose an e-ticket or to have your ticket(s) posted to you. If you choose to have them posted, please ensure you bring your ticket(s) with you. If you choose the e-ticket option, please print your ticket(s) or ensure you have them available on your phone; there will be no box office provision on the festival site. 

What is the policy on refunds and exchanges?
Unfortunately refunds and exchanges are not permitted. 

Am I allowed to leave and re-enter the event site?
No. We will be operating a no re-entry policy. Once you have entered the event site you cannot leave and re-enter again.

Is the show suitable for children and families?
Yes, this event is suitable for families and people of all ages, however children aged 16 and under may only attend if supervised by a full paying adult. All attendees of any age (with the exception of babes in arms) will be required to have a ticket. 

Please note, this is a standing, festival style gig. The event site will be busy, loud and have flashing lights. We advise parents to take this into account when deciding whether to purchase tickets for children. Prams will not be permitted. 

Identity wristbands will be available for all children and vulnerable adults on entry. Please email wfculture@walthamforest.gov.uk if you have any queries.

Are there family tickets available?
No. People can book up to four tickets each. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a full paying adult.

Do carers get in free?
We have a number of free companion tickets available. Please email us at wfculture@walthamforest.gov.uk to enquire about these tickets. Please note these tickets are limited and will be allocated to people accompanying a full paying audience member with access requirements.

I’m a local resident. How do I get a ticket?
There will be an opportunity for Waltham Forest residents to purchase up to four tickets each before they are made available to the general public. A 72 hour pre-sale will begin on Friday 15 February at 10am. All tickets purchases are online via the ticket link at wfculture19.co.uk/africaexpress

Will I be able to buy tickets if the Waltham Forest pre-sale sells out?
Yes. There will be more tickets released on general sale on Monday 18 February at 10am.

Can I bring my bicycle to the event?
Yes, there will be bike parking available near the venue on a first come first served basis. Bikes are left at the owners own risk.

Is there any normal parking provided? If not, where is the nearest car park?
There is no public car park at the show. You are encouraged to walk, cycle or use public transport wherever possible.

Accessible parking is available and is free of charge for Blue Badge holders only. Friends or family arriving in separate vehicles will not be able to use this facility. Spaces must be applied for in advance of the show and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. For more information please email wfculture@walthamforest.gov.uk

Access

Is it suitable for those who are hard of hearing, Deaf or deaf?
Yes, there will be a hearing loop inside the Big Top. There will be signs to indicate where the best points are.

Is the show wheelchair accessible?
Yes – but please be aware that although good pathways lead to the event site, some of them are on an incline. The food court and areas of the tent are situated on a grass fields site.

There will be an accessible viewing platform within the Big Top.

Will there be allocated seating available? What about those who find it difficult to stand for extended periods?
There will be an accessible viewing area within the Big Top with some chairs available for people who find it difficult to stand for extended periods.

Is there accessible parking available?
Yes – we will have a limited number of blue badge spaces available on a first come first served basis. 

For more information please email wfculture@walthamforest.gov.uk

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

What advice is there for people with sensory needs?
The event site will be busy, loud and have flashing lights so if this may cause distress, caution is advised. If you have specific questions please email us at wfculture@walthamforest.gov.uk

Will mobility scooters be allowed entry?
Yes, electric mobility scooters are permitted – these will be subject to a full search. Please be aware that the event is taking place on a grass field site and there are no charging points available at this site.

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.

The event

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 local police and the security company working at 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, and to avoid peak entry times between 7pm and 8.30pm if concerned about possible queues.

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 cash with you. Please note there is no re-entry to the site.

Food and drink vendors will have card payment facilities.

What food and drink is available at the event?
There will be a festival bar serving a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks No drinks of any kind may be brought onto the event site. There will also be a range of local food stalls on site.

Can I bring my own food and drink to the event?
You are not permitted to bring any drinks, including soft drinks or water into the festival. Bags and full body searches will be in operation and any unopened containers may be confiscated.

You may bring empty bottles sized 500ml or less to use at water refill points inside the festival. If you have a valid medical condition or need to bring baby’s milk, please email wfculture@walthamforest.gov.uk to let us know in advance.

Why can’t I bring my own alcohol to the event?
We need to comply with strict licensing rules for alcohol consumed on site.  There will be two licensed bars on the event and a Challenge 25 policy will be in place. If you look under 25 you will be asked to prove that you are aged 18 or over when you buy alcohol at the show. If you are under 18, you are committing an offence if you attempt to buy alcohol. All bars accept the following forms of identification:

  • Current UK Passport
  • Current Driver’s Licence or Provisional Licence
  • The following cards (part of the PASS Scheme): Validate UK, CitizenCard

Will there be vegan and gluten-free food options?
Yes.

Is there access to free drinking water on site? 
Yes, free drinking water will be available on site, but please bring along a bottle (500ml capacity or less).

What will the festival ground conditions be? 
The festival is located outdoors and on a green field site. The site is generally flat and accessible however please be aware that the ground can be uneven and conditions underfoot can be affected by weather and heavy footfall.

Please wear appropriate shoes and take care in areas where ground is uneven or has been affected by adverse weather.

Will there be filming and photography at the event?
Yes. By entering this event you give your consent for your images to be used for photography or video. If you have any concerns please raise them with the staff at the information marquee.

Can I bring my dog?
Due to the nature of the event, pets are not permitted. Assistance dogs will be permitted.

Full London Borough of Waltham Forest terms and conditions can be downloaded here.

Will dog walking on the site be affected?
Wanstead flats will remain open behind the main site; part of the area will be fenced off for the build and show day for public safety.

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. This will be clearly sign posted within the event space. Show ambassadors will be on hand across the site to assist you.

Lost property will be kept by the organisers for two weeks. After this time, any property left unclaimed will be passed onto a local charity shop or destroyed.

Will there be gender neutral toilet provision?
Yes.

I am a local resident, how do I make a complaint?
Please log your complaint on www.walthamforest.gov.uk or call us on 0208 496 3000. Your complaint will be logged and passed on to the relevant team who will be in touch. 

Can I take photos?
Yes but only for personal use. We do not allow cameras with detachable lenses such as the SLR and DSLR cameras). You can bring any other camera to the festival for your personal use.

Any other professional film and video equipment that is not authorised by management in advance will not be permitted. 

For professional accreditation please email Media@wfculture19.co.uk

I want to volunteer at this event, how can I get involved?
You can sign up to our volunteer programme and become a Legend of the Forest. However there is no guarantee at this stage that you will be able to volunteer at this specific event.

Other information:

  • There will be a full perimeter fence around the event in the park and heightened security measures in place throughout the show itself
  • All visitors will be subject to searching on entry, so you are advised to allow extra time to get into the event
  • We reserve the right to refuse entry to the event. See our full Terms and Conditions
  • The use of drones is prohibited 
  • CCTV may be in operation throughout the whole of the event
  • We operate a zero tolerance policy on drugs and ‘legal highs’
  • We operate a Challenge 25 policy at all our on-site bars. If you look younger than 25, you will be asked for ID
  • Official filming and photography will be taking place at the event
  • All BBQs are strictly prohibited, including disposables
  • Please help us reduce waste going to landfill and increase our recycling rate. You can do this by simply discarding your drinks cartons and cups, plates and other waste in to the clearly marked bins correctly
  • When leaving the event, please be considerate of our neighbours and leave quietly