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Wireless Festival promoter Live Nation withdraws appeal over licensing restrictions after deal struck with Haringey

PUBLISHED: 11:58 09 January 2019

The crowd at Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park last year. Picture: Matt Crossick/PA Wire.

The crowd at Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park last year. Picture: Matt Crossick/PA Wire.

PA Wire/PA Images

The Wireless Festival promoter has withdrawn its appeal against Haringey Council’s licensing restrictions after an agreement was reached on sound level monitoring.

Live Nation had lodged the appeal in November over the measures imposed by the council’s licensing committee the previous month.

It argued the conditions – reducing bass levels and finishing half-an-hour early on the final day – would put off “headline artists of international repute” and put the festival out of business.

But after striking a deal over the sound levels with Haringey last month, the operator this week withdrew its appeal at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court regarding the curfew.

It is not known how it now hopes to attract said “headline artists of international repute”. In its original appeal bosses had said they “will not be interested in finishing their performance at 9:30pm before it is even dark enough for an effective light show as part of the climax the act.”

Either way, the news of a behind-closed-doors agreement between Live Nation and the council has sparked more fury among the campaigners who had brought the review.

The group, led by the Friends of Finsbury Park (FOFP), wanted the festival out of the area, saying it caused a public nuisance and brought crime and disorder. So the decision to ultimately allow it to stay had already angered them.

Martin Ball, a member of the FOFP committee, said the latest development showed the council had “capitulated”. He said: “What a betrayal of those who call for tougher controls on the event.”

The campaigners were told of the agreement over sound levels in a letter from Haringey last month. It said following the appeal the council had hired a noise consultant to review data and advise on the implications of the noise conditions, and that the licensing sub-committee had agreed to the changes.

Haringey’s environment chief Cllr Kirsten Hearn said: “We’re pleased Haringey will continue to play host to Wireless – a world class urban event that helps to fund the park. We know residents want to see improvements around events at the park and we will work to deliver these with residents and partners.”

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