Security slammed after mob gatecrashes Wireless festival


Gatecrashers - Credit: Archant

Police also make arrests for knife possession at popular music event

Security arrangements for Wireless Festival have been criticised after a mob tried to storm the site.

Residents also complained that revellers were openly taking and dealing drugs on the streets during the three day event in Finsbury Park, which ran from Friday to Sunday last week.

Police made 23 arrests over the weekend, for offences including possession of a weapon, breach of bail and drug offences.

Some 100,000 fans turned out to see acts ranging from Drake to Nicki Minaj in the park, which is leased by Haringey Council to the festival organisers, LiveNation – despite widespread complaints after last year’s festival there.

Residents, businesses and councillors have again slammed Haringey Council’s security arrangements and the impact the festival continues to have on the local community.

Michael Daniels, who has lived in Finsbury Park Road for seven years, said: “My house is on the street directly opposite the main gate and we had people urinating in the road, getting tanked up on alcohol and openly taking and dealing drugs.

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“Haringey Council get all the money and Hackney and Islington residents get all the grief!”

Videos uploaded to YouTube shows ticketless youths storming the security gates around the festival in a violent rampage which saw one lone policeman taking on a mob before stewards arrived to assist him and the crowd was eventually dispersed.

Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa, borough commander for Haringey, praised the officer involved and said: “We will review footage of this incident and decide whether any action should be taken against those involved.”

Cllr Paul Convery, executive member for community safety at Islington Council, said he was disapointed by the “unsatisfactory arrangements”. “The gatecrashing of the event was the most visibly obvious sign of things going wrong,” he said.

“We very much hope that if this event is to happen again, that Haringey Council can assure us that better security will be put in place for the future.”

A Haringey Council spokesman said: “It was completely unacceptable for a small minority of people to cause disruption outside Wireless Festival and these scenes were not representative of the whole festival which was well organised and saw tens of thousands of people enjoy themselves safely. We will be meeting with the organisers to review their security measures.”