News: Live Nation
Promoters say the Royal Parks authority wanted too much money for Hyde Park contract
LIVE Nation have laid into the Royal Parks authority after their bid to secure a contract to continue hosting events at London’s Hyde Park hit the skids.
Arguing that the governing body wanted too much money for the contract, which would have extended until 2017, the music company’s Chief Operating Officer John Probyn told NME:
“They’re public servants, so they’re not allowed to say [that it was money], but it doesn’t take a genius to work out what they wanted. No promoter could go in and decently run a gig for more than we offered. I’m not prepared to go on as a loss maker.
“Maybe someone is going in and do something like Latitude: that may be more aesthetically pleasing to the park but [the promoter is] not going to make money out of that. The only way you’re going to do it is putting on big headline acts, selling a lot of tickets at quite a high ticket level.”
Probyn added that, in the past, Live Nation made minimal profit from hosting events in the central London park — including Wireless, Hard Rock Calling and one-off shows like Bruce Springsteen and Madonna — but they were pleased to continue because it was their “flagship venue”.
However, recent bad press surrounding Bruce Springsteen and Macca’s cut-short performance in July and Blur’s low-volume set in August complicated the issue and in the end, Live Nation’s attempts to get round these problems came to nothing.
The company is now looking at other venues to host big events, said Probyn: ”There’s a little project that’s been bubbling away for a while and I’m really excited about it. It’s within London, but it’s completely different to Hyde Park.”
Live Nation already had plans to move the Wireless Festival elsewhere for its 2013 edition, seemingly because snooty residents to bass-heavy acts like Drake, Nikki Minaj and Rihanna.
“…The genre of music was not exactly what the park wants,” said Probyn. “That’s in terms of repetitive bass and clientele. So we already decided, ‘OK, if it’s not wanted, we’ll take it somewhere else.’”
A new promoter for shows at Hyde Park has yet to be announced.