Finsbury Park tube station

Finsbury Park signs five year deal to host Wireless Festival

A divisive decision has been made for the London festival, Wireless, to be held in Finsbury Park for the next five years. 

The power of music and Wireless Festival

Music has long since been an inspiration for a multitude of different media and events from festivals to TV shows, novels to films. 

Music has the ability to evoke thoughts and feelings, even when translated into the written word, even inspiring a plethora of marketing taglines and slogans.

Take Paddy Power’s Wonder Wheel, for example – players get one free spin each day, resulting in the tagline ‘spin me right round baby, right round’.

This tagline is taken from Dead or Alive‘s You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) (1985), and the subsequent reworking by Flo Rida and Kesha, Right Round (2009).

As such, even reading the slogan hits play on the songs in the reader’s head by association, which highlights the transient nature of music.

Flo Rida took to the Wireless stage to perform ear-worms such as this back in 2009. 

Wireless Festival, like it’s name suggests, is a music festival that started out by transcending all genres of music, not limited by metaphorical cords.

Over the years, Wireless Festival has been hosted in Hyde Park, Olympic Park, Crystal Palace Park – and has boasted pop-up festivals in Leeds, Birmingham, Frankfurt, and Abu Dhabi – before returning to its 2014-2019 home of Finsbury Park in 2023.

Historic headline acts include New Order, Basement Jaxx, Morissey, Jay-Z, P!nk, the White Stripes, the Who, and the Strokes.

By 2012, boasting a line-up that featured Deadmau5, Childish Gambino, Drake, and Rihanna, Wireless Festival had begun to solidify itself as a rap and hip-hop-focussed festival. 

Wireless to take place in Finsbury Park until 2027

It has recently been announced that Finsbury Park have managed to bag Wireless Festival every summer for the next five years – hosting events in 2023 right through until 2027.

Haringey Council signed the five-year deal with the promoters of the festival, Festival Republic and Live Nation, citing a boost to the local economy as the primary driving factor behind the decision.

With the festival estimated to raise around £1.2 million annually, the funds made from hosting the festival will reportedly go towards the upkeep of Finsbury Park. 

This comes after repeated complaints from the Friends of Finsbury Park and local residents, with concerns over noise level and behaviour.

This came to a head in 2018, after 67 complaints were officially filed about the festival. In return, Haringey Council asked artists performing at the festival were asked not to use language or wear clothing deemed as offensive.

These new licensing rules could have notably limited the festival, with urban artists known for their use of rousing lyrics and costuming.

However, what this highlights is the local opinion of the festival, its performers, and the festival goers. Due to this, Haringey Council’s decision has received significant backlash. 

Despite the new rules, the 2019 festival drew in a crowd of 135,000 over the weekend, which marked a record attendance for Wireless Festival.

After disruptions, cancellations, and limited capacity events, 2023 is the first year that Wireless Festival will return solely to Finsbury Park, with headliners Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, D-Block Europe, and special guest 50 Cent.

Other notable artists include Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Lil Durk, and Metro Boomin. Tickets for the Saturday alone reportedly sold out within 60 minutes of going live. 

Wireless Festival is hosted every July, in Finsbury Park until 2027. 

Featured image credit: Paul Hudson (CC BY 2.0)

Related Articles