Mystery deepens as Crouch End Festival banners are ‘stolen’

Bright banners advertising the festival have been taken

Bright banners advertising the festival have been taken - Credit: Archant

Organisers say £300 worth of banners have been taken, days before the UK’s largest community arts festival opens

Two bright banners were wrenched from the Hornsey Town Hall Green and The Queens pub on the Broadway Parade.

Artistic director Chris Arnold suspects they were taken by an “overzealous” street cleaner with wire cutters, who is taking it upon himself to “clean the streets.”

But he said it’s possible the posters were stolen by “trolls” who wish to sabotage the festival.

Haringey Council has made it clear they did not take down the posters.

The 10-day event, billed as the UK’s largest community arts festival, starts on Saturday.

But the banners are gone and no note has been left.

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Events director Amanda Carrara said: “If it’s malicious and somebody wishes the festival ill, we’d like to know why.

“It’s kind of like kids having to ask for their ball back.”

The 56-year-old said the banners were put up without any incident in the last few years.

Director Chris Arnold said: “We suspect there might be a troll deliberately going round.

“We’ve asked everyone to keep an eye out and be very vigilant.”

“The mystery deepens.”

Mr Arnold is concerned the festival will attract fewer visitors without the banners.

There were 40,000 visitors to the event last year, which includes film, animation, photography, art, poetry, drama, dance and poets in a phone box.

Middeys manager Rossi Barbarossa has valiantly allowed a banner to be hung on the restaurant, which has yet to open, on Hornsey Town Hall square.

Ms Carrara said organisers are working hard to put the festival together.

She said: “We would love not to have to spend hours on [the banners] in the next few days.”

Banners advertising Crouch End Open Studios, which invited residents to pop inside the homes of artists, reportedly went missing in May.

Cllr Jason Arthur said: “Thousands of people take part in the Crouch End Festival every year and I’m proud that Haringey has put in £4500 of funding to support this fantastic community event.”