The Friends of Finsbury Park is taking Haringey Council to court over Wireless Festival, which it says a threat to all of London's public parks
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Haringay Council has green-lighted the London-based festival, citing the benefits to the local economy
By Lisa Henderson on 27 Jun 2023
Wireless Festival will be allowed to take place in London’s Finsbury Park every summer until 2027, despite opposition from residents groups.
The local council says the new five-year deal with promoter Festival Republic will raise “significant income” for the north London park and boost the local economy.
As part of the deal, promoter Festival Republic will also be allowed to hold a second weekend of major events in the park each year.
Wireless draws crowds of up to 50,000 people per day and has been held annually in the park since 2014, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 when Covid-19 restrictions were in place. Previously, the event was arranged year by year.
The Friends of Finsbury Park local group has opposed the five-year deal, arguing that there would be no benefit to local people and that it was “about money, not culture”.
The council said the events raise around £1.2 million per year for Finsbury Park
“Evidently, council budgets are tight. But elsewhere in the borough, Haringey Council is making great investments in parks. And perversely, this deal appears to deliver less money for Finsbury Park,” the group said, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service. It also said there would be less oversight of the event.
The group, which has been attempting to stop the festival since 2016, has previously complained about noise levels, drug taking and anti-social behaviour at the festival.
The council said the events raise around £1.2 million per year for Finsbury Park, funding the maintenance team and paying for improvements such as a new play space, air-quality monitoring stations and an expanded skate park.
Wireless Festival has an eighteen-year legacy in the UK. The most recent edition of the festival was held across three sites – Crystal Palace Park and Finsbury Park in London, and the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
This year, Wireless will return to Finsbury Park between 7–9 July with headliners Playboy Carti, Travis Scott, D-Block Europe and 50 Cent.
The weekend prior, Festival Republic is promoting a trio of concerts in the park: Jamie T (30 June), Pulp (1 July) and The 1975 (2 July).
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