'No swearing' rules for Wireless Festival are ‘misguided’, says music writer

Wireless Festival rules are ‘misguided’, says music writer

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

New licensing rules from Haringey Council state that Wireless festival can continue taking place in Finsbury Park, as long as performers don't swear, play too loudly or wear offensive clothes.

Music writer Alexander Milas told talkRADIO's Matthew Wright that the restrictions were “misguided” and they should work towards a resolution with promoters rather than “trying to limit art”.

“There is a long history of those sort of restrictions, they sound like they have been written by Statler and Waldorf," Mr Milas said.

“They are completely and utterly misguided.

“When was the last time you asked a bunch of kids not to do something, and they immediately stopped doing it?

“It is like firing a flare in the sky and asking people to do exactly what you want them not to do.

“Wouldn’t the better message be, ‘We want to work closely with the promoters to find a happy solution. We don’t want anti-social behaviour and we are working to find a happy resolution'?

“Not trying to limit art and not trying to limit those voices.”


'Vulgar, obscene or banned songs' 

Haringey Council granted a licence for the next festival under these new conditions.

One of these rules was that performers should "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".

Acts should also avoid attire that could "offend the general public, e.g. attire which exposes the groin, private parts, buttock or female breast(s)".


'This is a silly way of approaching it' 

 6LACK performs on the Main Stage during Wireless Festival 2018

Mr Milas added: “What really seems to be the undercurrent of the entire thing is they [local residents] just don’t want your folks’ music in their park.

“This is a really silly way of approaching it.

“All the problems, I don’t think anyone from the festival wants to see happening either.

“But, they are all manageable and you need to have practical problems with practical solutions.”  


'Excessive and invasive noise' 

 Stormzy headlines the Main Stage on Day 2 of Wireless Festival 2018

Friends Of Finsbury Park, a group that had complained about the event, said it was pleased with some of the new conditions but would still like to see the attendance reduced. It also suggested it may appeal against the decision.

A message on its website said: "We are pleased that the committee has taken into consideration the testimony of our witnesses and noise expert on the excessive and invasive noise that is produced by the festival and agreed with the Friends' case that loud music from Wireless, including bass level noise, has caused a public nuisance.

"We therefore welcome the decision of the committee to incorporate our proposed noise limits and noise monitoring conditions.

"We are also pleased that the event will finish earlier on a Sunday, as we had suggested.

"However, several of our proposed licensing conditions have been disregarded by the committee, of which the most important is our request to reduce the number of attendees at the event.

"Even with improved management of the festival, it is simply not possible to reduce the excessive level of public nuisance caused by a festival and the impact it has on the park without reducing the number of attendees below the current limit of 50,000."