After organisers pulled the plug on a rare performance by Sir Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen this weekend at Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park, Live Nation’s European COO Paul Latham has explained the situation that led to the sudden cut-off.
As previously reported, festival organisers were forced tocut-off the performance featuring the two music legends as it approached curfew – in line with local authority noise regulations.
In an email to The Wall Street Journal, Latham details Live Nation’s plight to keep hosting concerts in Hyde Park which mean complying with Local Authority licensing terms which “were granted on very strict noise restrictions, traffic plans and curfews”.
Latham admitted that they knew the curfew would “run perilously close” due to the combination of Springsteen’s 20-minute-late show start, teamed with “the crazy British weather” and “the curveball of [Paul McCartney] rocking up at the last minute” resulting in “a nightmare curfew scenario”.
He went on to explain that they were only supposed to do “a couple of numbers” but those happened to include Beatles medleys which forced the show into a significant overrun.
“We could turn a blind eye to a 10 minute over-run,” Latham said. “[But complying with local authority laws] I’m afraid the power had to come off on music history in the hope that we will be allowed to create more in the future.”
Even E Street Band member guitarist Steven Van Zandt appeared to back down after his initial expression of anger regarding the situation over Twitter: “Live Nation is cool… It’s some City Council stupid rule.”
The local council reportedly received just two noise complaints over the weekend, according to the London Evening Standard.
Latham’s email in full is below:
For the last 12 months we have been fighting the good fight with the Local Authority and their licensing teams to retain the ability to stage concerts in Hyde Park. The current licences were granted on very strict noise restrictions, traffic plans and curfews with the “sword of Damocles” hanging over any future events if we broke any of the conditions. Suffice to say 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.
Having done many Bruce shows over the years we were very careful to schedule the day to give him 3 hours and 30 minutes to run at which would normally be sufficient but a combination of Bruce coming on 20 minutes late, the crazy British weather that fluctuated from pleasant July sunshine to biblical downpours, and the fact that Bruce and Co. were so into the gig meant we knew the curfew was going to run perilously close. Throw in the curveball of his Maccaness rocking up at the last minute and we had a musical cocktail for the ages but a nightmare curfew scenario.
We were assured that they were going to only do a couple of numbers so we could turn a blind eye to a 10 minute over-run and risk the wrath of our naysayers but then the couple of numbers happened to be Beatles medleys and when Bruce went to change guitars to start again I’m afraid the power had to come off on music history in the hope that we will be allowed to create more in the future.
Suffice to say we were most concerned that Bruce and Co. would have been discommoded by our actions but they were unanimous in their opinion that it had been one of their greatest gigs for many a year and being thrown off the stage added legend to the myth.
One for the ages indeed !!
Source: Wall Street Journal