August 1 2014 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Fears that the three-day Wireless Festival would turn Finsbury Park into a no-go zone for residents failed to materialise – with rap superstar Kanye West causing the most controversy.
Residents and councillors had feared a re-run of last year’s Stone Roses concert, which saw a huge rise in anti-social behaviour in the area – including people urinating in front gardens.
And while there were a number of tweets complaining of drunken behaviour as people spilled out of the park, it seemed to be on a far smaller scale than previous events and these were apparently outweighed by the number of people enjoying the concert from the comfort of their own homes.
What’s more, there were only 18 arrests over the course of the festival – one for aggravated bodily harm, while the rest were for a mixture of theft, robberies, drug offences, being wanted on warrant and drunk and disorderly.
Supt Lee Presland, of Haringey police, said: “We were very pleased with the outcome of the Wireless Festival. The majority of festival-goers were sensible and well behaved. Only a very small minority was out to spoil this vibrant event for others and those people were dealt with swiftly.
“Policing of the event was generally well received with some youngsters saying that they felt safer knowing that officers were conducting searches. The festival attendance in the main was very much behind the anti-weapon, anti-violence and anti-drug campaign.”
Indeed, the most controversial moment of the weekend apparently came from performer Kanye West, who stopped mid-set to complain about the downside of his celebrity status – which has been considerably increased by his marriage to reality TV star Kim Kardashian. Myron Jobson, a reporter for one of the Broadway’s sister titles, who was at Wireless, said: “Scores of festival goers, who had been jumping hysterically to the music, stopped, booed and made their way to the exit as Kanye gave a 15-minute rant about his struggles as a showbiz star.
“I don’t think people had much sympathy for his plight and just wanted to hear his hits.”