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Wireless time cut and swearing banned

22 November 2018

NORTH LONDON’S 49,000-capacity Wireless festival in Finsbury Park will have to finish half-an-hour earlier, at 9.30pm, on its final day next year, while performers will be required not to swear on stage, and new volume limits will be in place.

The changes result from a review of event license granted to Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) and its Festival Republic subsidiary by Haringey Council’s licensing sub-committee.

The action was instigated by residents’ group Friends of Finsbury Park (FOFP).

The licensing sub-committee says it would not be “proportionate” to go further than requiring LNE to make reasonable requests for artistes not to use expletives, and that applying penalties, as suggested by FOFP, was “somewhat unrealistic”.

The council says the Haringey Noise Team would continue to monitor sound levels but with more frequency, and that music levels will be capped at 75db across all monitoring locations.

Haringey Council senior communications officer Nina Romain explains other new levels imposed deal with monitoring low level frequency and that the maximum low frequency music noise level must not now exceed 85db.

“This was in response to the concerns raised around vibrations,” she says.

A statement from FOFP says, “We are pleased that the committee has taken into consideration the testimony of our witnesses and noise expert on the excessive and invasive noise that is produced by the festival and agreed with the Friends’ case that loud music from Wireless, including bass level noise, has caused a public nuisance.”

The licence review was granted following submissions by neighbouring councils Islington and Hackney, and concerns raised by Labour leader and Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn.

Among issues raised were noise levels, anti-social behaviour and the event’s capacity.  FOFP’s suggestion that the festival’s capacity be reduced to 10,000 was rejected.

Speaking at the hearing, LNE lawyer Philip Kolvin said Wireless was a celebration of grime music. “It is the only festival in the world that fully represents the community in which it is based,” he said.

Councillor Kirsten Hearn, cabinet member for environment, comments, “Wireless Festival is a world-class urban event that helps to fund the park the whole year round and makes a major cultural contribution to Haringey.”

The Wireless festival licence is in the name of Live Nation (Music UK) Ltd and events under the licence have been managed by Festival Republic, owned by LN-Gaiety, a 50/50 joint venture between LNE and a company owned by its non-executive chairman Denis Desmond and his wife Caroline (see also page 4).

As LIVE UK went to press, the council confirmed that only LNE had lodged an appeal against its ruling.

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