Park set to host 2012 ‘family’ Olympic party

A MASSIVE Olympic-themed extravaganza could transform Finsbury Park into a focal point of the capital in 2012, if promoters get their way.

Some 200,000 people could descend on the park over 10 days during the Games in August, for a proposed event billed by Haringey Council officers as showcasing “the best of the country’s offerings including its sports, lifestyle and tourist attractions”.

Punters wil have to buy tickets for the private, family-friendly event, which also promises live music, art, fashion, food and drink.

The council’s cabinet agreed to waive current limits for use of the park, which stops events running for more than five days, on Tuesday, paving the way for lucrative contract negotiations.

It could raise more than �150,000 for the council at a time of dire need, although organisers will still have to apply for a licence as normal.

While the identity of the promoter - “one of the largest live entertainment companies in the world” - is being kept secret and no specific details have been released, the event is described in the council report as being a “flagship” celebration for the entire country.

It will put a fifth of the park - in an area centred around the bandstand - out of commission for at least a fortnight, including set-up and take-down time.

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The council is keen to get the green light to lift restrictions as “any delay could result in the promoters seeking a venue elsewhere, resulting in the borough losing out culturally, economically and recreationally”, according to the report.

The celebration would “enable the borough to experience the excitement that the Olympics will bring to London”, and locals will benefit “through educational and economic activities”, the report said.

The council has committed to enter “discussions” with nearby residents and interested parties ahead of the event to “mitigate” any disruption.