Stadium boss says artists should respect curfews

The head of Wembley Stadium’s music and events has backed the decision to cut short Bruce Springsteen’s Hyde Park gig on Saturday (July 14).

Springsteen was cut off during his duet with Paul McCartney at the Hard Rock Calling festival. Three days later (July 17), he hit back at the organisers, mocking them onstage at a Dublin gig by coming on stage with a huge generator prop that said: “Before we were so rudely interrupted…”

Speaking to Music Week., Wembley boss Jim Freyling said he supported promoter Live Nation’s decision to pull the plug, saying: “Nobody likes enforcing curfews. We’d all rather the artist play on. But we have to for future shows and licences. And we could do with artists appreciating that a little more.”

He added: “The likes of Live Nation and the rest of the live industry are the examples of the people they should praise to the skies for making amazing big events happen within safe boundaries.”

Earlier this week, Live Nation’s Chief Operating Officer for Europe, Paul Latham, defended the promoter’s decision to pull the plug on Saturday’s gig, saying that to continue hosting concerts in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, the company has to agree to a strict 10.30pm noise curfew with local authorities: “The residents of Park Lane and Mayfair may not be numerous but they wield inordinate power over the Gogs and Magogs of City Hall and Parliament,” he said.

Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry also spoke out about Saturday’s gig, saying that the current run of Hyde Park concerts are an “embarrassment” to music. He said: “They shouldn’t have these events in Hyde Park any more if it’s going to cause embarrassing problems.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said the pair should have been allowed to continue, joking that he would have told them to “to jam in the name of the Lord!”