Wireless Festival will be allowed to take place in Finsbury Park for the next five years - despite opposition from local groups.

Haringey Council has struck a deal with promoter Festival Republic to allow the event to run every summer until 2027, claiming it will raise “significant income” for the park and boost the local economy.

The rap and urban music festival, which draws crowds of up to 50,000 people per day, has been held annually in the park since 2014, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 when Covid-19 restrictions were in place.

Until now, the event was booked on a yearly basis. The council claims the five-year deal will guarantee money to fund the park’s upkeep – despite admitting in a report that its new approach will “reduce the income level received”.

The Friends of Finsbury Park local group opposed the move, claiming there would be less oversight of the events and no benefits for local residents.

The group said it was “incredibly disappointed” that the council had not held a “promised [public] consultation on the proposal” and instead signed a five-year deal “which appears to learn none of the lessons from the disastrous Tough Mudder event earlier this year”.

It added: “As the cabinet papers make clear, this is about money, not culture. Evidently, council budgets are tight. But elsewhere in the borough, Haringey Council is making great investments in parks. And perversely, this deal appears to deliver less money for Finsbury Park!

“Further, purported investments are all focused on major events infrastructure – including a proposal for a substation in the park. We don’t think the council has seriously looked at other options for funding the park properly or explored options to partner with other local councils.”

The friends group supports holding smaller-scale events of fewer than 10,000 people in the park but says major events reduce access for residents and lead to noise and antisocial behaviour.

Highbury Community Association also objected to the deal during a consultation with stakeholders, raising similar concerns and warning standards could slip over the five-year period.

Alexandra Worrell, a Labour councillor for Stroud Green ward, said she believed events of the scale of Wireless were “unsuitable” for the park, and the council had not been “sufficiently clear, transparent or communicative” about how the money raised from the events was being used.

The council says events raise around £1.2million per year for Finsbury Park, funding the maintenance team and paying for improvements such as a new play space, air-quality monitoring stations and an expanded skate park.

It claims only holding events with fewer than 10,000 attendees would mean having to find an extra £400,000 per year to support the park.

As part of the deal, Festival Republic will also be allowed to hold a second weekend of major events in the park each year. In addition, two days of free community events will take place: Finsbury Fest, which will see local artists play on the festival stage, and Haringey Schools Music Festival, which will showcase the borough’s young musicians.

Council leader Cllr Peray Ahmet said: “Finsbury Park is a thriving green space in the heart of our borough. We are incredibly proud of the park and its long history of hosting some of the biggest names in music through the summer events programme.

“As well as bringing in significant funds to help us manage and improve the park, events are an important opportunity for residents, especially our young people, to access world-class music and culture in an affordable and sustainable way.”

Responding to the concerns over the absence of a public consultation on major events, a council spokesperson said: “In line with our outdoor events policy, we engaged with recognised stakeholders ahead of taking this decision, with feedback received being evaluated as part of the decision-making process. Our procedure for notifying and engaging with stakeholders was tested and found to be robust by the High Court in a 2016 judgment.”

Festival Republic has been approached for comment.