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Live Nation pulls out of bidding for new Hyde Park contract

By | Published on Tuesday 23 October 2012

Live Nation

Live Nation has reportedly said 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”.

Live Nation has operated a stage in Hyde Park for over a decade, putting on various city centre concerts and festivals, including the Wireless and Hard Rock Calling events. This year the live firm’s activity was even more prolific as it staged a programme of entertainments in the park during the Olympics, including concerts to coincide with the opening and closing of the games.

But disagreements with well connected residents who live near the park, and their allies in Westminster Council, have hindered Live Nation’s Hyde Park activities in recent years, with noise restrictions leading to criticism of sound levels by some audience members this year, and a strict curfew leading to the cutting short of a Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney encore this summer.

According to The Guardian, in a letter to the Royal Parks Agency Live Nation outlines a number of issues with the site, as well as criticising the agency’s tender process for the new contract to operate the Hyde Park stage, including unrealistic revenue assumptions.

Some of Live Nation’s competitors may now be interested in bidding for the Hyde Park live entertainment contract now the incumbents have pulled out, though staging events on the site would require considerable resources (and as this year showed, poor weather can increase logistical costs considerably), and other potential bidders might be deterred by the licensing issues Live Nation has faced this year.