Against strong opposition from The Friends of Finsbury Park, community groups, local residents and park users, Haringey Council have now confirmed they will host Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park on July 8th, 9th, 10th. Keeping all consultation closed to the public, Haringey Council have even ignored their own policies and failed to keep their promise to consult with local stakeholder groups.
Releasing an official statement last week the Council said, “Haringey Council work closely with the Finsbury Park events stakeholder group – which includes the Friends of Finsbury Park – when planning for events to ensure that they run as smoothly and safely as possible and the safety of people attending, as well as nearby residents, is always our top priority.”
The Council have not worked closely with us or indeed any other stakeholder. In fact the stakeholder group they refer to has not met since last July.
Haringey Council has also delivered a leaflet to households in the area, in an attempt to justify their decision to allow the festival. This is clearly a PR attempt to spin the so-called benefits from these events. We do not agree that all of the information in the leaflet is correct and will be issuing a statement on this in due course.
We have always said we are not against Wireless Festival in itself, but the event is just too big for Finsbury Park. Its vast scale covers almost one third of the Park, surrounded by an oppressive 10ft high green metal wall, excluding Park users and residents in high summer, for weeks on end.
We want to work with Haringey to find alternative, more imaginative, streams of income which are more appropriate in type and scale for our wonderful Park, and inclusive of the local community.
There have also been major concerns expressed from fans on social media for having Wireless in Finsbury Park this year, worried that the violence and anti-social behaviour which characterised Wireless 2015 might erupt again.
Finsbury Park is a public park that was formed by virtue of the Finsbury Park Act 1857; it is registered as a Grade II Historic Park and Garden and is also Metropolitan Open Land. After reviewing the relevant legislation it is our view that Haringey Council does not have the power to hold Wireless Festival. We are now working closely with our solicitor Susan Ring to discuss our next course of action.
Other Councils are already looking to host events such as Wireless Festival in their parks. This isn’t just about Finsbury Park. Commercial exploitation such as this will continue to happen across the country if we don’t make a stand. These are our green spaces, our communities, our parks. We have to stop this now, and save Finsbury Park for generations to come, helping our children and theirs to enjoy parks as the Victorians originally intended.
More updates on our challenge coming soon…
For the latest campaign updates:
Follow us on Twitter: @FinsParkFriends,
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/finsburyparkfriends
For more information on our campaign: