Wembley Stadium's head of music and new events has backed Live Nation's handling of its curfew during last Saturday's Bruce Springsteen concert in Hyde Park.
Live Nation has faced some stick from fans and media for the decision to turn off Springsteen's microphones as The Boss and special guest Paul McCartney finished their second encore song shortly before 11pm.
Springsteen's set lasted a full 3 hours 40 minutes at the Hard Rock Calling event, with Live Nation citing the public's health and safety as the core reason for its decision.
"Road closures around Hard Park are put in place at specific times to make sure everyone can exit the area in a safety," it explained in a statement.
Live Nation COO Paul Latham then explained that if the company didn't stick by its curfew, it could have affected future music events: "We could turn a blind eye to a 10 minute over-run... 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.”
These reasons were deemed not good enough by the deputy chief exec of government watchdog Health And Safety Executive, however. Kevin Myers wrote: "As a longstanding Bruce Springsteen fan and one of the crowd at Hard Rock Calling, I was doubly disappointed to hear Live Nation give 'health and safety' as the reason for cutting short Saturday's gig.
"The fans deserve the truth: there are no health and safety issues involved here. While public events may have licensing conditions dictating when they should end, this is not health and safety and it is disingenuous of Live Nation to say so."
However, industry figures have now thrown their weight behind Latham and Live Nation's decision.
Wembley's Jim Frayling wrote on MusicWeek.com: "Paul's right. 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.
"It is the HSE who are being disingenuous here. Live Nation explained fairly that it was to allow fans to get home safely. Having a 60k+ crowd cross Park Lane mixing with traffic would not be ideal. So it was 'in the interests of the public's health and safety' to shut the gig off. Fair comment from LN.
"In fact the HSE's compadres in the good fight - the Institue of Health & Safety commonly suggests segregating pedestrians from motor traffic as a useful first step in a risk assessment. I've done my basic IOSH certificate thanks very much.
"HSE's blog is an excellent, un-stuffy antidote to the big myth that Health & Safety stops us doing things, rather than acting as an enabler.
"But they've got this wrong for a cheap point. 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. Exactly what the HSE should be supporting."
Manager of acts such as Mark Knopfler, Paul Crockford, added:
"It is very easy to sit on the sidelines and snipe about this particular incident. Fans would be up in arms if the shows at Hyde Park were cancelled because Live Nation breached the terms of their licence, including breaching the curfew. and shows were not allowed in the park at all.
"Live Nation were put in very awkward position by Bruce going on late and then over running. Why isn't anybody pointing that out ? Is nobody at Bruce's end going to come out and apologise for the problem which they helped to create by disregarding the timings of the show?
"I am no fan of Live Nation but credit where credit is due. With Park Lane shut because of the 10.30 anticipated show ending it's hardly surprising they felt under pressure to pull the plug when 'the Boss' reached for another guitar having already run over the finish time by 10 minutes. Let's not get all misty eyed and rock and roll about this. If the artist had gone on stage on time and finished when he was supposed to there wouldn't have been any problem."