Wireless Festival licensing review: Islington Council withdraws representation ahead of hearing

Festivalgoers at Wireless this year. Picture: PA

Festivalgoers at Wireless this year. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Islington Council has withdrawn its representation ahead of today’s Wireless Festival licensing hearing, saying promoters have agreed to their demands.

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz. Picture: Steve Bainbridge

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz. Picture: Steve Bainbridge - Credit: Archant

The two-day hearing is being hosted by Haringey Council after an application by the Friend of Finsbury Park group, which wants the music event out of the park.

They claim the festival is too big for the park and causes mass anti-social behaviour for neighbours. They also say noise limits were exceeded at last year’s event.

Islington and Hackney councils both submitted representations in August supporting the hearing, as did Jeremy Corbyn.

It comes after two young festivalgoers died after attending this year’s event, which was headlined by Drake.

In Islington’s submission, officers expressed “major concerns” about noise, management of anti-social behaviour, parking, traffic, street cleaning and the capacity of the park, as well as the exit management.

But last week the council pulled out of the meeting, saying Live Nation, the promoters, had agreed to a string of conditions they proposed.

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They include fresh noise monitoring, a traffic management plan with trained stewards to be paid for by Live Nation, barriers to ensure safety for queueing festivalgoers, an improved waste management plan for the park and surrounding roads, and monthly meetings between the promoters, councils and neighbours.

Islington’s licensing chief Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz said: “We have previously expressed significant concerns about the way that Wireless Festival has been managed, and the considerable negative impact it has had on our residents’ lives.

“The licence holders have now agreed a set of new conditions and undertakings for future festivals that we believe will directly address issues for Islington residents around noise, anti-social behaviour, crime, traffic and parking, security provision and access.

“Following careful consideration, we are satisfied with these conditions, if implemented in full. Given these concessions have been made we feel that the situation has moved forward far enough not to proceed with our representation at this stage.

“We will closely monitor the full implementation of these measures for future festivals and events in the park.”