Events in Finsbury Park - the impact

I thought the following tweets put forward by tom@tgraham deserved a bigger audience given the work he has put into compiling them. I reproduce them here with his permission. They make interesting reading for those who have been following the debate about events in Finsbury Park.

Haringey paid for an economic impact assessment of the various festivals in Finsbury Park. If you cannot sleep check it out here ( @haringeycouncil were a little bit coy about releasing.

In 2018, 306,097 people visited festivals in the park. Only 8% of attendees live in Haringey, 33% elsewhere in London and 55% from the rest of UK. (These events are not a 'local' or 'community' cultural event put on for people living nearby).

84% of visitors came on public transport (tube / train / bus). No wonder Finsbury Park is so popular with event companies - how many other big public spaces are so well connected?

On average, event goers spend a total of £172pp ex. tickets (!). The bulk of that is spent in the festival - £90 - going to the organisers @slamminevents and @LiveNationUK. £72pp is spent elsewhere in London, and a measly £9.73pp spent in Harginey. (Bravo for local businesses).

Punters spent c.£38m on the events (£27m in the festivals, c£11m of ticket sales). @haringeycouncil said income from the events for (ab)using the park each year is c£1.1m. That's what - only about 2.5% of organiser revenue? (Why is the council not getting a better deal?)

Festival goers also spent money elsewhere in London - about £21m. BUT only £2.9m was spent in Haringey. Local biz did note this increase in turn over but most money went to pubs. (The borough is feeling the pain but not capturing a broad based economic return for it).

The survey talks about job creation. It recons at peak c. 3k people work on big events, with c 19,000 man days of effort across all of them. Sounds a lot until you annualise it to ... 9 people's jobs. And the bulk of that work is short term contract security / bar work.

The @FourthStreetUK report is diligent. 2 simple conclusions for me. 1/ Festivals can have positive economic impacts BUT Haringey isn't seeing them. 2/ Events companies are making serious money (OK) but councils are failing to capture a sensible share to offset the local impact.

So what: The council should reduce the size & frequency of events, & confidently demand more cash for the pleasure of leasing our lovely public space. I sympathise with council budget cuts & that Nice Things Cost Money... but income can still be made through more delicate use.

I'd welcome any comments from @haringeycouncil or @kirstenhearn (who was kind enough to discuss the topic briefly recently). fyi @andrewsmithwest and @danhancox and @islingtongztte. Forgive in advance any misinterpretations of the report.


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