Saturday 11 September 2021

Photo of the day - 11: Wireless Festival at Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Park, local to my home, is one of my go-to places for running, bike training reps and a bit of roller skating too. But this weekend it is off limits because of the Wireless Festival. In fact we have had restricted access to the park since August when they had a series of weekend concerts as part of the South Facing festival. Then there have been nights showing outdoor cinema, classical music concerts, and an opera. But Wireless has been a bigger deal. I could tell when I did a run there last week and many paths were closed, plus there were loads of engineers and bulldozers. 

I have never been to the Wireless rap festival before and I must say that looking at the list of artists on the billing I haven't heard of a single one of them. I certainly wouldn't be able to identify any of them if I came face to face with them. But it seems they are well-known, as is the festival, given that the 50,000 capacity venue is sold out, and lots of road closures are in place around Crystal Palace.

Many local people were complaining about the noise and some said they could hear it from their homes a mile away. I can't say it disturbed me personally. I only heard the music when I went out for a run in Betts Park. 

Folks (myself included) were also worried about the place looking like a tip afterwards or that there might be some horrible crimes committed. I didn't hear anything on the news though, so I guess the event was incident free and folks were largely well-behaved.

I think that locals heeded the memo too because in the end there wasn't actually that much traffic on the road. So one could say that this big festival was a success.

Personally, I think that given the last 18 months we've had, it is nice to have a bit of entertainment and merrymaking going on in the neighbourhood. It also puts the area on the map.

The other thing is that the historic area of Crystal Palace Park has fallen into disrepair over the years, and The Crystal Palace Park Trust have been keen to organise and host events in the park as a way of raising funds to restore the various parts of the park - be it the playground facilities, the concert bowl (affectionately known as the "laptop") or even the dinosaurs. 

So even though I don't know any of the artists at Wireless and I probably won't ever attend that festival, I am glad to see that these sorts of events are of appeal to others and they can help in the process of keeping my local area the attractive place that it deserves to be.

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