Wireless Festival renewed provided acts don't swear or wear skimpy clothes 1 year ago

Wireless Festival renewed provided acts don't swear or wear skimpy clothes

Who are they going to book now then?

Wireless Festival will return in 2019 much to the disappointment of protesters who tried to ban it from returning to Finsbury Park.

However there are a few conditions for its return, some of which are pretty bizarre.


Under new licensing conditions, artists on the bill will be told not to swear when performing and they won't be permitted to wear skimpy clothes.

These new rules come in after complaints from the Friends of Finsbury Park group about noise and damage to the park were logged. The annual festival faced closure after it was subject to a Haringey Council licensing review but after a two-day hearing, the council decided Wireless, which is visited by 50,000 people over the three days each year, could remain in the park.

Part of the amended conditions read:

"The licensee shall reasonably request that performers do not sing or play any vulgar, obscene or banned songs; or carry out indecent acts; or make any vulgar gestures, actions or remarks during the performance; or at any point whilst using an amplification device, including the use of expletives.

"He shall also ensure that the attire of the performers do not offend the general public, for example attire which exposes the groin, private parts, buttock or female breast(s)."

Haringey also imposed noise reductions and a finish time of 9.30pm, instead of the previous curfew time of 10pm.

Lisa Mercedez performs on the Pepsi Max stage on Day 3 of Wireless Festival 2018 at Finsbury Park. (Photo by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images)

Artists such as J. Cole, Stormzy and Drake headlined Wireless Festival last year, all of whom use a large amount of expletives in their music, but the documents issued by the council acknowledged that penalising Festival Republic, the promoters for Wireless, would be "somewhat unrealistic given this is a live music festival."

Friends of Finsbury Park have now been unsuccessful twice in shutting down Wireless Festival. And though it failed again at the licensing review, campaigner Tom Palin told the Evening Standard he was satisfied with the concessions the town hall made.

"We are disappointed it hasn’t been revoked," he said, "but pleased the committee listened to us and incorporated our proposals on sound limits.

"It was too loud and it was clear residents were being disturbed. Wireless will now have to be a quieter festival.

"We have taken it all the way we can. We took it to a two-day licensing hearing and to get a change in that licence, I feel we have achieved a lot."

Since its first time being hosted by Finsbury Park back in 2014, neighbours have also complained about their streets becoming "public toilets" and a playground for drug dealers and brawls.

One resident, who lives just outside the park, said: "They [the council and organisers] need to be aware it’s a residential area. It’s incredibly overwhelming to have a weekend of 50,000 people.

"I’ve not been aiming to stop the festival. I love the diversity of Finsbury Park, I like it to be a bit edgy. But it’s not pleasant when your street becomes a public toilet.

"Someone went to the toilet, big time, at our house last year. All these flies were on this gigantic piece of human excrement. It stank like a toilet.

"You see threatening guys on the street, the drug dealers are on it and the police can’t manage."

Rick Ross performs on the main stage on Day 3 of Wireless Festival 2018 at Finsbury Park. (Photo by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images)

Unapologetic, Haringey Council refused to revoke the licence, saying it’s a "world-class" event enjoyed by people across the capital.

"Wireless Festival is a world-class urban event that helps to fund the park the whole year round and makes a major cultural contribution to Haringey," said Environment leader Cllr Kirsten Hearn.

"We’re a diverse borough and many of our residents, as well as people from across London, attend and enjoy the festival. It is a celebration of some of the world’s biggest music acts.

"Residents in Haringey and our neighbouring boroughs – as well as Islington and Hackney councils – have been clear about the improvements they want to see, and I want them to know that the council has heard their concerns.

"We will work to address these with residents and partners at Finsbury Park."

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