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Finsbury Park residents step up campaign against Wireless festival

By | Published on Wednesday 16 March 2016

Wireless Festival

An organisation called Friends Of Finsbury Park, which has a certain Jeremy Corbyn MP as its patron, is stepping up its campaign to try and stop Live Nation’s Wireless festival from returning to the North London park again this summer.

Locals were not happy when Wireless moved from Hyde Park to Finsbury Park (after a brief stop off at the Olympic Park) in 2014, while last year promoters were called into a meeting by Haringey Council after footage of gatecrashers at the event circulated online.

The local residents organisation has said that its campaign to stop Wireless 2016 is “gaining momentum”, even though tickets are already on sale for the three day July bash.

The event is yet to be granted a licence by Haringey Council, with the Friends Of Finsbury Park saying “we are staggered that Live Nation would promote and sell tickets … without the venue being confirmed already”. Though, to be fair, it’s not uncommon for festival promoters to start announcing line-ups and selling tickets with licences from relevant local authorities still pending.

The residents group also criticises the council itself, which has said it works “closely with the Finsbury Park events stakeholder group – which includes the Friends Of Finsbury Park – when planning for events”. But, says the Friends, “the stakeholder group that Haringey Council are referring to has not meet since June 2015, when [meetings] were stopped by Cllr Stuart McNamara. So far we have had no word from the Council about when the stakeholder meetings will be reconvened despite numerous attempts to contact the Council by email”.

The residents group has raised a number of concerns about Wireless continuing to take place at Finsbury Park in a submission to the Council, including loss of amenity, increased traffic and noise, the event’s capacity and alleged security failings. Meanwhile, the group says it is considering a fundraising campaign to take any decision by Haringey Council that would allow Wireless 2016 to go ahead to judicial review.

The residents conclude: “We are not against Wireless Festival, but its sheer size and scale is totally inappropriate for Finsbury Park. We are happy to see events staged which don’t involve the closure of one third of the park in high summer, are more inclusive of the local community, and benefit the park itself”.