November 5, 2012 16:52

AEG Live win Hyde Park gig contract

Promoters take the helm of the London park venue from Live Nation

AEG Live win Hyde Park gig contract

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Gig promoters AEG Live have won the contract to host concerts at London's Hyde Park.

AEG will take the helm of the site in the centre of the capital, after fellow promoters Live Nation pulled out of the tender process last month, citing noise and curfew restrictions and unreasonable financial expectations put upon them by The Royal Parks, which owns the site.

AEG will begin the five-year partnership in 2013, with six summer concerts planned each year. A statement from Jay Marciano, President & CEO of AEG Europe, which also organises Coachella in California, said that the company would be hosting a new summer festival at the site. "AEG Live is proud to be partnering with The Royal Parks in the creation of an exceptional and ground-breaking new summer festival for London," he said.

Rob Hallett, President, International Touring for AEG Live added: "While Hyde Park has traditionally attracted high calibre artists, our plans for reinvigorating the venue with a fresh and innovative new event already have the artist community very excited. I look forward to bringing the world’s premier headlining talent to our pioneering new London festival."

The venue saw a problematic summer season this year, including the cutting short of Bruce Springsteen's performance with Paul McCartney and the complaints about low volume at Blur's August gig due to sound regulations imposed in the interest of local residents.

According to the BBC, complaints about noise in Hyde Park have almost doubled since 2008, promoting a review of the venue's licence to host events. In February, Westminster Council reduced the number of concerts held annually at Hyde Park from 13 to nine. The council also cut the number of people who could attend events from 80,000 to 65,000 - and, in some cases, to 50,000.

Speaking to NME about pulling out of the tender process after 15 years of putting on gigs at the site, John Probyn, Chief Operating Officer of Live Nation said: "People always see the promoters as the greedy guys who take the money. Trust me, at Hyde Park we didn’t…The venue, the name… everybody wants to play there. Everyone did want to play there; the problem with that now is that they don’t want to play there, because of the adverse publicity it’s got."

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