Wireless Festival has moved to London’s Finsbury Park – and will now take place there every summer until 2027.
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Despite the opposition of having the festival occur at the famous park, Haringey Council signed a five-year deal with Festival Republic, the promoter of Wireless, claiming that the event will raise “significant income’ for North London as well as boost the local economy.
Wireless was previously arranged on a year-by-year basis with past venues including Hyde Park, Harewood House and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The festival, which draws up to 50,000 people a day, has been held annually in Finsbury Park since 2014 except for 2020-2021 due to COVID restrictions.
The deal also gives Festival Republic permission to hold a second weekend of major events in the park. In addition, two days of free community events will take place.
The local group Friends of Finsbury Park, opposed the festival’s move claiming that there would be no benefit to the local people and added that there would be less oversight of the event. They have previously complained about noise levels, drug taking and anti-social behaviour at the festival and attempted to stop the events.
Haringey Council stated that the new deal will guarantee income to fund the park’s upkeep even though they admitted in a report that the deal would actually “reduce the income level received”.
Friends of Finsbury Park claim that the five-year-deal between Haringey Council and Wireless festival is “about money, not culture” referring to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The group shared: “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 Highbury Community Association also opposed the deal citing similar concerns as well as warning standards could slip over the five-year period.
Alexandra Worrell, a Labour councillor for Stroud Green ward, said she believed events of the scale of Wireless were “unsuitable” for the park and claimed that the council was not “sufficiently clear, transparent or communicative” on how the money being raised from the events were being used.
Accoring to the council, the events raise roughly £1.2million each year for Finsbury Park which funds the maintenance team and paying for improvements such as a new play space, air-quality monitoring stations and an expanded skate park.
It claims only holding events with fewer than 10,000 attendees would mean having to find an extra £400,000 per year to support the park.
“As well as bringing in significant funds to help us manage and improve the park, events are an important opportunity for residents, especially our young people, to access world-class music and culture in an affordable and sustainable way,” said council leader Peray Ahmet.
This year’s Wireless Festival is set to take place at Finsbury Park between July 7-9. Travis Scott, Playboi Carti and D-Block Europe are set to play the festival as UK exclusive headliners. 50 Cent, meanwhile, is set to perform as a special guest.
Other artists on the bill include Lil Uzi Vert, Headie One, Joey Bada$$, Lil Durk, Popcaan, Lola Brooke and Glorilla. The latter artist, who features in this year’s NME 100, will make her exclusive UK debut at Wireless. Visit here for tickets and more information.