Live Nation has confirmed that it will not re-bid for the rights to stage festivals and concerts in London’s Hyde Park, claiming licensing restrictions put in place in recent years have hindered the company’s efforts to stage events there, and that the tender process put in place by the Royal Parks Agency for a new five-year contract to use the park for live events is “flawed”.
The move would put an end to the Wireless and Hard Rock Calling festivals, as well as Live Nation’s series of major summer concert events. The number of events in the Park is being reduced by The Royal Parks and Live Nation faced criticism after brining in tonnes of woodchip to counter flooding during the awful English summer. Much criticised noise limits and a strict curfew were also put in place to appease local residents resulting in the plug being pulled on an overrunning Bruce Springsteen this summer.
Live Nation COO John Probyn confirmed that LN would not promote in Hyde Park and told Access All Areas “Royal Parks has ignored everything else and gone for the money and we’re really good at walking away when something makes no sense” adding “Hyde Park is the most expensive venue in the country and the stakeholders just don’t want events in there. I’ve kept saying that it’s a fantastic site, and in its heyday it was, but for the last four years it’s been a nightmare. When you’re constantly looking to cut spend and make money elsewhere, the buck always has to stop with the ticket buyer,” he said. “We have no desire to be involved with a loss-leading project, or to work with someone who doesn’t understand what we’re doing. Other venues that don’t have the same approach or the same noise restrictions are courting us now, which is nice after 15 years of battling with local residents and the Royal Parks.”