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Live Nation lands Olympic Stadium as new concert venue

Story by Jack Foley

LIVE Nation has revealed plans to host a series of concerts and festivals at the Olympic Park and Stadium this summer.

The first events to be confirmed at the prestigious venue will be Wireless 2013 and Hard Rock Calling, both of which had previously been held at Hyde Park.

Live Nation decided to withdraw from the Royal Parks venue after 10 years owing to the noise restrictions and curfews imposed upon some of its major concerts last summer – most notably a Hard Rock Calling gig involving Bruce Springsteen which saw the plug pulled on the singer and his guest, Paul McCartney.

It is also believed that the concert promoter declined to bid for a new contract with the Royal Parks Agency owing to “flaws” that Live Nation saw in the tendering process, which it claimed failed to recognise the complexities of hosting concerts at the venue.

In November, however, rival concert promoter AEG Live was awarded a five-year contract to host concerts in Hyde Park, with the Royal Parks insisting they were happy to continue providing entertainment at the venue while also minimising the impact to residents and the surrounding community.

Live Nation has subsequently been seeking its own alternative venues within the capital and was awarded the Olympic Park venue by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which is responsible for future use of the Olympic Park and its venues.

Commenting on the latest development, Mayor of London and LLDC chairman, Boris Johnson, told the BBC: “The confidence now shown by one of the world’s leading live entertainment promoters to relocate two of its biggest music festivals from the centre of the capital is a ringing endorsement of our legacy plans.

“Along with the other major international sports events we have already secured this latest news proves that the park has a very bright future indeed.”

Wireless and Hard Rock Calling will both be held at the venue in July with line-ups due to be announced shortly along with other major concerts.