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Residents consider legal action over licence

13 February 2019

ALTHOUGH FESTIVAL Republic (FR), organiser of the 45,000-capacity Wireless festival, has dropped an appeal against new conditions imposed on the festival by Haringey Council (see issue 37), a group representing residents of London’s Finsbury Park is considering further legal action.

Campaigners have accused the council of am “underhand” change in the terms of the licence.

A review of the festival’s licensing conditions in October 2018 stipulated that FR must adhere to noise levels of 85dB at various off-site points including neighbouring building facades, according to Friends of Finsbury Park (FOFP), who believe this requirement has since been changed without adequate consultation.

The festival and FOPF have been in dispute for several years (see Festival, issue 33).

According to FOFP chairman Simon Hunt, “Haringey have decided to row back on several of the new noise conditions. We’re concerned because we weren’t involved in discussions about changing noise conditions for a third time.

“At the review in October we heard competing testimonies from three noise experts representing Haringey, [FR parent company] Live Nation and ourselves. We demonstrated that a level of 85dB was workable by monitoring Stormzy’s set, and this was agreed,” he says.

“Since then Haringey has heard from a fourth expert and decided that the opinion of all three review experts is void. It seems underhand and we are exploring an appeal to the High Court.”

Festival understands that, since the October hearing, Haringey appointed independent sound specialist Meyer Brown, who recommended the use of a dBC measure, rather than dB, as a more effective way to control low frequency noise and that the council followed this recommendation.

FOFP says that this change effectively increases the dB level to 90.

Festival has been advised that Haringey had no duty to consult FOFP when it introduced this level.

Tickets are on sale at £175, but no line-up had been announced as Festival went to print. Drake, Stormzy and J.Cole headlined last year.

FR did not return our requests for comment.

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