Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival

Things to do , Festivals Alexandra Palace , Muswell Hill Friday November 4 2016 - Saturday November 5 2016
  • 2 out of 5 stars
(43 user reviews)
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Ally Pally Fireworks Festival

 (Paul Underhill)
Paul Underhill
 (Paul Underhill)
Paul Underhill
 (Paul Underhill)
Paul Underhill

The huge – and hugely popular – display over north London also features a funfair, ice skating and German beer festival.

The lofty palace returned to illuminating the skies of north London three years ago following a distressing four-year hiatus, and it's back again for 2016 - and this year it's happening TWICE. As well as impressive firework displays with a glittering panoramic view of London as its backdrop tickets include entrance to a family zone with funfair rides and entertainment, an adult funfair and a street food and craft beer village.

Adults who'd like to make a (boozy) day of it should add on a ticket to the German Bier Festival that will take place in Alexandra Palace's Great Hall (from 3pm), providing all the fun of Oktoberfest: table service from Bavarian Fräuleins, oompah bands, sausages and plenty of beer. Lederhosen are not compulsory but definitely encouraged. Entertainment for the evening will be from Club de Fromage and headlined by an Elton John tribute act.

Venue name: Alexandra Palace
Address: Alexandra Palace Way
N22 7AY
Transport: Alexandra Palace rail
Price: Advance tickets £6 adults, £4 concs, under 10s free; bierkeller £16 (£13 adv)
Event phone: 020 3390 0150
Event website:
    • Advance tickets £6 adults, £4 concs, under 10s free; bierkeller £16 (£13 adv)
    • Advance tickets £6 adults, £4 concs, under 10s free; bierkeller £16 (£13 adv)

Average User Rating

1.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:33
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Seymour Quilter
1 of 1 found helpful

This was the worst organised beer festival I have ever been to, it was massively overcrowded, the stewards had no idea what was going on and we were only helped by people who had left saying it wasn't worth it! We arrived at 5pm to find a truly huge "queue", basically the crowds that were arriving were walking to the entrance, then bunching up and not going to the back of the queue which by then had stretched around to all along the front of the building. There were no stewards to martial such a big crowd which Im sure breaks health and safety rules, and the one saving grace was that people mostly behaved really well despite the disappointment. We waited until 7.15pm before giving up on ever getting to the front of the queue and going to Muswell Hill for a drink, after being told that we could not re-enter the park if we wanted to come back and watch the fireworks. Haringey Council and Alexandra Palace management need to respond to this, and explain why it was so badly organised. Surely if they knew it was a sell out then they needed more crowd control? I'm really disappointed and will not come back next year if this is repeated, as it was largely a waste of time and money.

1 of 1 found helpful

Like most others I found this event pathetic, embarrassing (I was with some foreign visitors to London) and a complete rip-off. There seemed to be no signs anywhere (I wanted to go to the bier festival), and the security guards were definitely employed for their dislike of dealing with the public! To anyone who thought that this was a good experience, I would say, go to the Oktoberfest, which is a world class event, and see how they organise things for that event, and learn a few tips. I honestly think that you couldn't do a worse job even if you tried!


One of the best places to be for the fireworks' night. I really enjoyed being here. The fireworks last for about half an hour and you can easily compare them with the ones on New Years eve in London. The music was also nice but the extra tickets for the beer festival don't worth it. If you book early, the entrance fee is just 6 £!

Dom C

Anyone else think the two 5 star 'reviews' left in 18 September 7 weeks before the event are suspect? Most review the event shortly after. These 2 seem have been placed to encourage ticket sales. Most other reviews are 1 or 2 stars

Potato S

Nearly as bad as last year's! Congrats Ally Pally for throwing the worst, least organized, most pathetic attempt at an event yet again! 

jack long

So according to them it was a "GREAT SUCCESS" Please email them with your opinion at Because they obviously havent a clue!!! I agree with everyone who gave the event 1 star. Huge disappointment. If could 0 stars i would.


I have to agree with some of the reviews on here that the event was poorly organised. Living locally we had friends around ours and then all headed up to the palace just in time for the fireworks. The display was good and I liked that they used lasers and music as with previous years. I do not understand peoples complaints about the fact it was ticketed event. If the tickets were purchased in advance they were 6 pounds each which is line with other displays around the area which do not use a box of DIY fireworks purchased from Tesco. If you are that against paying and the crowds it is possible to get a perfectly good view from other areas e.g. standing on the top of the hill on looking down at the palace on mount view road. The main issues where around crowd control, they had a huge sign outside the beer festival saying it was one in one out which caused confusion and this was clearly not the case, security staff (who did not have a clue what was going on) were opening the fencing off to let some people through and so we managed to get in this way rather than walking down the hill and back up it again in the queue of people that were all being let in anyhow. They only had one type of beer left at about 8.30 pm which is not ideal at a beer festival! However, all in all we had a lovely evening and the fireworks with the London backdrop were beautiful. I would encourage people to get behind the management team at the palace as they are doing an excellent job in trying to bring the palace back to life having secured lottery funding and giving north London back its fireworks!

David Barnet

Shocking! terrible! and poorly organised arrived at 4:30pm and wasn't allowed in the 'street market, funfair area' so we were directed to the bier festival. entered and it was RAMMED, queues of 40 deep for the bars.. left and asked for directions to the 'street market' told to go through the smoking area with some other people and their children only to find the smoking area was a contained area... no way through.. 3 people didn't speak english or couldn't help us on the maps they had (staff members).. finally got to the street market to find more dissapointment! NO MULLED WINE, as the machine wasn't set up and warm beer. The entertainment and 'funfair' consisted of one ride and the childrens fair only had bumper cars and a carousel... all in all i think 1 star is being too kind! absolutely gutted....

Jo Crouch End

Have to agree with the majority of these reviews. The event was extremely poorly organised. No sign posts, poor lighting, completely over crowded. We couldn't get to the 'bier festival' or any of the other events advertised. Queues were ridiculous - I don't think people even knew what they were queuing for. Very disappointing over-all. We left before the fire works.


Wish I'd watched the fireworks from home. It was oversold as they had to turn people away that had purchased tickets. We got in but with 2 small children were pushed around in the crowds leaving our 6 year old in tears, queues for everything, beer festival closed, everyone complaining, security staff rude, I won't be going back EVER!


Like most reviewers so far I'd concur that fireworks were good but the event management was beyond appalling. Terrible crowd bottlenecks, confused staff, nothing to do but queue for hours.As Time Out readers will know London is the epicenter of a booming street food and craft beer scene yet sadly none of this was on show. The German beer festival was pathetic with an hour queue to get in to what looked like a scout hut and no beer!!! The only redeeming feature of this event apart from OK fireworks was the lovely nature of the crowd which says more about this area of London than it does the event organisers.


Was really looking forward to this event and not even an hour in had to adopt an 'oh well, let's try to make the best of it' type attitude to get through it. From an event management perspective, I could not believe the lack of foresight in planning, given that tickets (even 'on the day' tickets) were sold out days prior to the festival. On arrival there was zero signage to let you know where to go, crowd security were all flat out giving directions instead. As there were so many people you could not even get on the internet to access the basic map provided on the web, which I had expected. Dangerous levels of overcrowding then seemed the theme of the night. Poor placement of stalls meant bottlenecks in what should have been free flow foot traffic areas. There was no PA system around the area, if there was an emergency I would hate to think of how they would have managed the crowd without a PA system. They could have used this for music to add a little atmosphere also. We were fortunate to only wait 45 minutes in the line for the Bier festival (compared to other people), only to be told there was no beer when we were just about to get in. It was not yet 6pm. We were told by other people, not event staff. If I had been waiting 2 hours in a queue for no beer at a bier tent I would have been very upset. A little information goes a long way. Then we cued 20 mins for the one German food stand in the whole beer hall (they ran our of bratwurst just as we got to the front) and then had to eat standing in the hall corridor as there were not enough seats in the whole area. We then thought we would try to get a drink at the outside bar. But, third time lucky, after queuing for 30 minutes we reached the front only to be told there was nothing left but some Bacardi and Ribena. There were no barriers in place or queue lines so even when we got hold of a precious drink, it was tough not spilling it all trying to push back through the crowd. There also strangely was no limit on how many drinks you could buy. Most events it's usually 4 per person. People who were frustrated from queuing were buying drinks by the boxful, which I understand but it wasn't a very fair system to everyone else who also queued when they can't even get a single beer. After that we gave up and went around to get a spot for where we assumed the fireworks would be. To their credit we really enjoyed the actual fireworks, but decided to wait an hour to try to get home, as not many were keen to stay any longer than they needed to and the trains were already overcrowded on the way out. There were plenty of toilets but the paper ran out by 7pm and was not replenished. The event staff had no clue what they were doing (not their fault, we had watched their managers run around like headless chooks all night, so they clearly also had no clue as to what was going on). As someone who has worked in hospitality, I felt very sorry for the poor bar staff, copping abuse all round when it was not their fault. Slammin Events should have a good hard look at this mess, and hopefully do better next year, though there is no way I'll ever be wasting my time and money there again. It was nice to see the majority of the crowd with a sense of humour on the night about it all, lucky for the organisers that they had a good crowd, under other circumstances this could have been a riot.


Really disappointed. We paid for VIP tickets and was really looking forward to a nicely decorated room with some atmosphere. Instead looked like a community centre or bingo hall. No decor, music. The beer was warm. The only benefit was not queuing for drinks and toilet access. The bier festival was OK, but received no table service as staff said they gave up there's too many people?! Surely as it was a ticketed event, the crowd was anticipated and should have had more staff, bars and entertainment. The funfair was disappointed. At the end we stumbled upon additional stalls, everything was really far apart, the layout could have been better thought out. There was no ambience anywhere, was better off going locally which is free.

Mark Nichiolson

A really shabby event - It was so bad we left before the fireworks! Very little to do other than queue - Everyone looked disappointed! The queue for the beer festival was 3 hours !! What!!??. The stewards were poorly prepared and laughed at us when we tried to leave and asked to come back in for the fireworks. Will NOT go back next year or recommend to anyone.


Awful experience! Way too many people, huge q's for food and drink, no signs nor maps. I'll be going to a local bonfire night next time and advise everyone to steer clear of paying for this joke of an event!

Richard Dyson

I'm desperate to find out what comp[any organised this so i can follow what they do and then avoid them at all cost! Food stall were a sham (isnt there meant to be a street food revolution at the moment?) the queues, well if you loved queues this was the placer for you! How a venue that holds music gigs for 1000s of people and manages to serve them all well can foul up is amazing, im sure they thought to sell so many tickets it didn't matter what people spent when they got there.


I seem to be one of the rare few that enjoyed the event. Came with my husband and two youngest children, and we loved the fireworks. The funfair was a rather lacking, but then it stopped arguments and bickering as the kids didn't get over whelmed with choice. The queue's for food where very long, but then we decided we wanted to eat when everyone else wanted to :/ The people around us where lovely, chatty and sociable,so the waiting was not a problem. With so many people in attendance, what do you expect ? Leaving the venue to get to the station was reasonably quick.considering just how many people there where.The station and met police where brilliant after my youngest son injured his hand. I will be more than happy to attend again.. I feel too many people like to look to the negatives rather than the positives.

Steve Witt

Got there at 4pm as the kids wanted to get the best out of the funfair! But what funfair? If you followed the map it took you to a bumper ar and a small merry go round at was it! How do you fill 4 hours with that? In the end Lund a dismal few stands that were not signed posted after we pushed our way through the crowds queuing for food. So dangerous for the young children, stewards did not care no organisation, over sold and lack of attractions. In the end the kids were so upset we left at 7:50 and then had to fight our way through the crowds who were still trying to get in. Someone needs to be tied to a rocket and fired for their organisation and I want a refund on my 9 tickets and train fare for ths falsed advertised event. Small claims court here I come!


0 Stars. Such a poorly organised event, lacking in everything you pay to go to an event for: entertainment, food, shelter, drinks, informed staff. The only map I saw of the event grounds was inside the ice skating rink, not of any use to the thousands of people outside who had no idea where to go.


Q. What makes a great firework and beer festival? A. Fireworks and Beer. What did Ally Pally have? 2 hour queues to get into a 'beer festival' with one choice of over-priced stout or cider was available, at a single bar with massive queues. Damp squibs which were out-of-sync with the music. P.S Timeout where's my option to give no stars.

Darren McCarthy

To be honest a poor production. Long entrance queues , poorly informed Stewards, to be honest too dangerous for young kids as the event was over sold. Am seriously considering a full refund. abosolutley disgusted

Steve Capon

Utterly inept; no access to Bier festival over four hours before the end, nothing sign posted, inadequate facilities, ripoff prices for everything (if you could find/get near them) . The worst thing is that there were loads of people getting in without a ticket , through a massive gap in the fence at the main entrance, in full view of the stewards and other security staff who did nothing. I've asked for my money back via the official site (, I suggest everyrone else does the same....


If you are looking at the picture above......its a LIE. There was no logic behind this event, except to take a lot of money and give nothing back! There was no organisation, its was cluttered with litter everywhere as there was no facilities what so ever. I saw groups of young families huddled together in the coves of the palace trying to keep warm and stay clear of the zombie like crowds walking around aimlessly because there was no where to go or anything to do! Dont believe the hype! Big waste of time. We went to enjoy the German Beer festival but again lack of organisation or Brains meant 100s of people queuing for at least an hour at the edge of the park only to find out it was one in one out. Ridiculous, considering how much empty usable space they could of used. There was no seating and the only other 'Bars' & food stalls were at opposite ends of the park, conveniently placed near the exits. Back with a bang, what ever, the Fireworks was like a bad fart. Lesson learnt. Go to Battersea Park next year, they don;t disappoint! x


Everything about this event was rubbish. Does not even deserve one star. Was looking forward to it massive let down. The Organisers should be shamed. Felt like it was just a money grabbing event. The fireworks display was a random mess, much like the event.

del monte

Total waste of time. Dis-organised mess. lack of signs and facilties, over crowding, no seating. The actual fireworks display was very bad and not thought out, seen alot better ones for free. The whole event just felt it was just trying to get as much money as possible, by cramming as many people into the event, then showing a cheap fireworks display at the end. Will not go there again! very disapointed.


Back with a Bang ??... that was rather Back with a Flop... very disappointed. Have seen better Fireworks which were actually for free. No introduction, announcements or welcome to highlight the return of the Fireworks to Ally Pally..sad event. Hope the event organizer will read any of these comments, to make it better next year???


What an absolute waste of time & money. The lack of organisation was a disgrace. No signs or information for the public & the majority of Stewards stood around doing nothing. Why was there such a lack of catering facilities when the event was sold out? Queues were at least 30minutes for a hot drink. This was the first time I had been for the fireworks & I shall NEVER go again.

Bianca Lewis

It is quite unbelievable how badly this was organised. There was no signage, no one seemed to know what was going on, and the queues for food and drinks were massively long because there was not enough staff to serve, or enough food stalls. I was stood in a queue for a hot chocolate for 45 minutes when i gave up! The whole thing was an absolute joke and quite frankly I think that everyone should be entitled to a refund. Did a child organise this?!

Les Copeland

A big fat zero... Total rubbish!!! Nothing for the kids for two hour, stood in a que for 25 mins only to get halfway down and it sell out of food... As for the beer, 200 waiting 3 people serving... You have to be having a laugh!!! Walked out before the fireworks :-/


A total and absolute rip off... So Dissipointed. Closed off many parts, crammed in, food overpriced, badly organised... Nobody knowing what was going on. Massively disappointed. If I could give it zero stars I would.


What time do the fireworks start at Ally Pally? Timeout dont delete my future comments.


What time does the actual display start? I'm happy to stand in Hornsey and watch


ABSOLUTELY disappointing! Just a few stalls and attractions, long queues to do anything. Not worth it AT ALL!


Early bird tickets were Only £6 for the fire works and the Beer festival which has entertainment.Sounds like a bargain.They did also advise that gate payment was subject to availability.I just hope the the word gets out that its sold out and that it is ticketed event . I'm not sure it has!


So upset that this has sold out. Had planned to buy my tickets on the day as advertised. Had looked forward to a great day out!


I am so annoyed, the website had originally advised that you would be able to buy tickets on arrival which is why i held of buying them in advance and now it’s completely sold out?!

john blight

is this an event for the rich people only? why does it cost so much to stand in a wet field ally pally used to be a great yearly event for everybody, now it seems you have to be rich to bring the family out to watch some fireworks, a real shame to see a free event now being charged for entry.


Ridiculously excited about this I've missed ally pally fireworks, only said a couple of days ago thy that they should bring it back! Can't wait for November now!!! I Love Fireworks!!!!