Arsenal’s Emirates big name concert plans rock residents
12:35 18 October 2012
Arsenal bid to stage nine extra shows during quieter summer months, but residents had already raised concerns following this year’s Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen gigs.
Arsenal has announced plans to triple the number of big-name concerts at the Emirates Stadium – to the dismay of residents who complain the football club is “taking over” the area.
Arsenal now wishes to host nine summer concerts spread over three consecutive weekends. This summer there were three Coldplay gigs on one weekend and many residents felt that was plenty.
In the wake of last week’s news that Arsenal is to plough on with plans for a controversial 25-storey skyscraper in Hornsey Road, Holloway, some say they are fed up with the club’s overbearing presence.
Chloe Hadjimatheou, 37, of Loraine Road, Holloway, said: “With this on top of the tower, residents are sick and tired of hearing about what Arsenal wants to do in our area. It feels like we’ve been taken over.
“Every time there’s a match I have people urinating on my doorstep and leaving beer cans. The other day someone fired an air rifle through my front window and smashed it.
“Now they want to triple the number of concerts during the only period that we get a bit of respite – I hope it gets rejected.”
The club has launched a consultation with 6,000 residents and intends to lodge an application with Islington Council this month.
It received permission for three concerts per year in 2008, when Bruce Springsteen performed. They must finish at 10.30pm.
Adam Caplin, 52, a writer of Aubert Park, Highbury, said: “We all accept we live near the stadium, but nine concerts is too much. They said they would only host three, but Arsenal always come back for more and it’s simply exhausting.”
Cllr John Gilbert, a Lib Dem member for Highbury East ward, said: “Many residents contacted us about the Coldplay concerts, with complaints about noise levels as well as the impact of all the concert-goers on the community. Nine concerts will mean serious disturbance for local residents and we feel this is a step too far.”
The Lib Dems have called a public meeting at Central Library in Fieldway Crescent, Highbury, at 7pm on Thursday, October 25.
Arsenal’s communications director Mark Gonnella said: “We are conscious that there is an impact on people locally and we will be introducing new measures to ensure that any inconvenience is limited to the absolute minimum. The concerts went very well in the summer and we have had lots of interest from promoters about using the stadium for future events for big-name performers.”