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Live Nation COO comments on Hyde Park decision

By | Published on Wednesday 31 October 2012

Live Nation

Live Nation COO John Probyn has spoken to Access All Areas about his company’s decision not to bid to run the festival stage in London’s Hyde Park, and it seems the live firm’s mind is very much made up on the issue.

As previously reported, Live Nation, which has staged concerts and festivals in the London park for over ten years, has decided not to re-bid for the rights to stage events there, claiming that rules enforced by the Royal Parks and Westminster Council in recent years have made staging events in Hyde Park more or less impossible. They also had problems with elements of the Royal Parks’ rebid process.

Speaking to Access All Areas, Probyn said: “Royal Parks has ignored everything else and gone for the money and we’re really good at walking away when something makes no sense. 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. 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”.

Probyn added that other venues had already approached his company about hosting the regular events Live Nation staged in Hyde Park, such as the Wireless and Hard Rock Calling festivals, and that while other promoters would probably be interested in taking over the Hyde Park stage, he felt that the investments that need to be made and the hassles tough licensing conditions cause, which make it increasingly difficult to persuade a-list acts to play there, would make the venture very challenging for any company that committed to it.