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Last day of Wireless to finish at 9.30 under new licence

Residents' group Friends of Finsbury Park has succeeded in securing an earlier Sunday night curfew for Wireless – as well as a ban on swearing and revealing clothing

By Jon Chapple on 24 Oct 2018

Could Lisa Mercedez, pictured at Wireless 2018, fall foul of new restrictions on "offensive" clothing?

Could Lisa Mercedez, pictured at Wireless 2018, fall foul of restrictions on "offensive" clothing?

image © James Bridle/Wireless

The final day of London’s Wireless festival will now finish at 9.30pm, with last drinks orders at 9pm, under new licence conditions imposed by Haringey borough council.

The outcome of a licensing review – initiated by residents’ group Friends of Finsbury Park (FoFP) and supported by Hackney and Islington councils and Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn – also imposed new sound level limits on the festival, which takes place in Finsbury Park in north London, as well ordering promoter Live Nation/Festival Republic to hire more security staff.

Additionally, performers are to be forbidden from swearing on stage, while “offensive” clothing – such as “attire which exposes the groin, private parts, buttock or female breast(s)” –is also prohibited.

However, FoFP’s proposal that the event’s daily capacity should be reduced from 45,000 to 10,000 was rejected.

Live Nation lawyer Philip Kolvin told the licence hearing that Wireless is the “only festival in the world that fully represents the community in which it is based”. “It’s a celebration of grime music,” he said. “A genre that emerged from London, from the estates, from the inner city. It’s London music – therefore, the festival celebrates the music of the people.”

“It’s London music … the festival celebrates the music of the people”

“We are pleased that the committee has taken into consideration the testimony of our witnesses and noise expert on the excessive and invasive noise that is produced by the festival, and agreed with the Friends’ case that loud music from Wireless, including bass level noise, has caused a public nuisance,” reads a statement from FoFP. “We therefore welcome the decision of the committee to incorporate our proposed noise limits and noise monitoring conditions.

“We are also pleased that the event will finish earlier on a Sunday, as we had suggested. However, several of our proposed licensing conditions have been disregarded by the committee, of which the most important is our request to reduce the number of attendees at the event.”

Both parties have until 12 November to appeal the decision, which can be read in full here, according to the Islington Gazette.

FoFP had previously attempted to prevent Wireless being allowed to take place in Finsbury Park, arguing the park’s residential location, combined with alleged antisocial behaviour by attendees, is unsuitable for an event of Wireless’s size. The association appealed following the failure of a previous legal challenge ahead of Wireless 2016, but the appeal was dismissed last November by a court of appeal judge.


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