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Locals review the impact of Beyonce's Concerts in Tottenham as restaurant rejoices over grant

Beyonce performing at her last Tottenham show. Credit Olivia Opara

One month on, local residents, musicians and businesses reflect on the impact of Beyonce’s five day concerts in Tottenham as a Seven Sisters restaurant received a $10,000 grant from the singer.

Last week, Nigerian tapas restaurant, Chuku's, was awarded $10,000 (£8,000) by Beyonce's charity BeyGOOD as part of her ‘Black Parade Route’ $1million pledge. The sibling run restaurant became one of ten small businesses in London to receive a grant from the pop star -- out of 500 applicants. The pledge provides relief grant opportunities and business support services for black owned businesses across major cities along the Beyonce's tour including: London, Chicago,

Atlanta, and New Orleans.

Ifeyinwa Fredrick, co-founder of Chuku's said: “I still can’t quite believe that Beyoncé has backed our restaurant – it feels a bit surreal. We’d already felt her impact when she was in town and concert-goers chose Chuku’s for their pre-gig meal, but this is a whole other level.”

Bother Ifeyinwa and her brother Emeka were announced as recipients at the Black Parade Route Luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel -- where Matthew Knowles, father of Beyoncé and former manager of Destiny’s Child, gave a talk.

From May 29th to June 4th, the Grammy award-winning singer performed across five nights at Tottenham stadium for her London-leg of her Renaissance World Tour – with the high road coming alive with fans from all over the world.

Having grown up in the area, Damian found it unbelievable to see “one of the greatest artists of [his] generation” perform live in Tottenham and hopes that the perception of the area has changed as a result – showing the amazing community and business opportunities in Tottenham.

“I think because Tottenham has been seen in a negative light ever since the riots that took place over a decade ago – the area has always been seen as a dangerous place,” said Damian.

“But there is so much talent and creativity here and Beyonce coming here goes to show that Tottenham is actually a really safe place to come to.”

The creative scene in Tottenham is well known and acknowledged – with some of the world’s biggest stars such as Adele, Skepta and Letita Wright coming from the area. For Tottenham musicians, seeing Beyonce perform in their home was “motivational”.

Shocka, a rapper and mental health advocate from Broadwater Farm, said: “Tottenham, when it comes to music, represents greatness. So to have had Beyonce here is in alignment with what Tottenham represents.”

WondRWomN (a rapper influenced predominately by old school hip-hop), Passmark (an afro-beats artist) and DJ Magic-Jay (a MC and music manager mostly influenced by hip-hop, RnB and dancehall), echoed how they hope that the concerts have helped to shift the stadium into an "iconic events venue" -- allowing for local and international artist to also perform more regularly.

"For Beyonce to have brought her tour to here - and everyone already knows how Tottenham is - it was beautiful," said DJ Magic-Jay.

705, a Nigerian afro-beats, RnB and hip-hop artist, added how more should have been done for the creatve scene in Tottenham - espceially for young and rising talents.

“In terms of Beyonce coming here I did not see anything done for the artistic side of Tottenham or young people actually gaining something – just marketing and promotion for her gig," he said.

“But to have a big American presence in Tottenham was good to see and for the young ones to see that things like that is possible.”

Long-time Beyonce fan and Tottenham resident, Lauren, was amazed to see the singer live for the first time alongside others from the area and that the award-winning artist had performed in the place that she lives.

“Whilst the noise and traffic was disruptive for a few residents, it was short-lived. I believe that the revenue these types of events bring to small businesses on the High Road provides immense support that is needed in the area,” said Lauren.

Throughout the week, some residents were inconvenienced by the increased levels of disruption, traffic and noise caused by event day road closures around the stadium and the influx of crowds coming into the area – as shown in comments and videos shared across social media.

It is important to note that on Tuesday (May 30th), a fatality on the North Circular in Edmonton worsened the levels of traffic in Haringey and Enfield on the day.

Josh, who lives on Lansdowne Road, found that it was not the noise nor the traffic but the levels of bass from the stadium that caused him the most disturbance, which he could feel in his house a half a mile away. However, after getting in touch with the stadium’s community team, he found that on the last two concert days the bass was significantly lower – commending the team for its engagement.

Despite the disturbance, Josh believes that concerts were great for the area and local trade and would like to see more events like it.

“However, they should be moderated in terms of how many at once and I think the stadium needs to understand the impacts of the volume of noise and bass levels on residents,” said Josh.

Do you think that Beyonce's Concerts benefitted the Tottenham community as a whole?

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Some local businesses on the high road experienced the benefit of the concerts, with others reportedly being fully booked. Manager of Beavertown Brewery, Sean, said: "The week was really popping for us and there was a real buzz with so many different nationalities in the area. It was really good for our brand."

However, the Tottenham Traders Partnership (TTP) noticed that the event day restrictions throughout the week discouraged people from shopping in the area and empathises that more could have been done to better encourage fans to spend more locally.

Moaz Nanjuwany, Chair of the TTP, said: “Firstly the concerts have put Tottenham on the international map and helped the local hospitality businesses especially the pubs and some restaurants – some general shops benefited too.”

“The problem was that local people did not come out so all the service types of shops and small groceries were affected – the complicated parking restrictions and ability to pay by phone caused more problems.”

Despite not making as much profit as hoped, Sarah Holgate, owner of the Victoria Pub, also believes that these types of events are important for the area and help to improve Tottenham’s reputation.

“Having a world-renowned artist like Beyoncé perform in Tottenham, was super exciting and has hopefully paved the way for more acts of her calibre to come to the area and it was great to see so many visitors to enjoying our pubs, cafes, and restaurants,” said Sarah.

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