Petition launched against large music events at Finsbury Park
- Credit: PA
Finsbury Park performances by music stars including Cardi B and Nicki Minaj should be celebrated, according to Haringey Council, after a petition was signed by hundreds of residents.
The petition against major events, Hands Off Our Park, was launched two weeks ago and has been signed by more than 1,400 people.
On Sunday, police were drafted in to help manage crowds at Wireless Festival ahead of Nicki Minaj’s performance.
A spokesperson for The Friends of Finsbury Park said since the start of the pandemic the park has been a "haven for play, exercise, and social time", but that events have returned "with gusto".
They said: "To enable five days of major events, more than half the park is removed from public use for most of July. The space is enclosed with a 3m-high wall and a ‘moat’."
They highlighted the HGVs and fuel used; the disorder over the weekend; noise complaints; and the closure of tennis courts during Wimbledon.
They said it is not about stopping small events, adding: "This is a question of scale, location, and how parks are funded.
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"We strongly believe that after two years of respite, with 1,400-plus signatures, residents are clear that this year should be the last year of major events in Finsbury Park. Events of this scale should stick to purpose built event venues like the O2.
"Our public parks should be properly funded, and protected from destructive major events."
Cllr Julie Davies, Haringey Council’s cabinet member for communities and civic life, said: “We should celebrate the fact we have world class superstars like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj performing in our borough. Finsbury Park has a long history of staging big events and with Covid restricting the lives of our young people for so long, music events like this help bring our communities back together to appreciate arts, culture and music.
“We will always take on board the views of our residents and there are a number of issues to consider around these events including how we get people in and out of the area, how we work with the joint boroughs and respect the local area."
She said event income helps fund improvements to the park, such as children’s play areas and the skatepark, and that events benefit local businesses.
Wireless Festival was contacted for comment.
The petition is at www.change.org/p/hands-off-our-park