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Olympic stadium in London to host rock concerts

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 12:27 EDT
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Fireworks light up the sky above the arena during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London on September 9, 2012. (AFP)
 
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A string of live rock concerts will be held in London’s Olympic Stadium in July, music promoter Live Nation announced Tuesday, making them the first events in the Olympic Park since the 2012 Games ended.

Wireless Festival and Hard Rock Calling, hitherto held in Hyde Park in central London, will see the 80,000-seater stadium in the east of the capital used for the first time since the Paralympics closing ceremony in September.

The concerts will be held both in the stadium and the park, which is now known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“Over the coming weeks, we intend to announce some major concerts with world-renowned artists, to firmly establish the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as the centerpiece for great live music in Europe,” said John Reid, concerts president at Live Nation Europe.

There is still no long-term deal in place for the showpiece stadium’s future.

English Premier League football club West Ham have been named as the preferred bidder for the tenancy and a final decision on their bid is expected before April.

Whatever happens, the stadium has to retain its athletics track and it is scheduled to host the Athletics World Championships in 2017.

Last July, fans at Hard Rock Calling were left fuming when Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney’s microphones were switched off during a duet after a concert over-ran.

Westminster Council, the local authority, has had rising complaints about noise levels from Hyde Park concerts and decided last year to cut the number per year from 13 to nine, and to slash the capacity from 80,000 to 65,000.

The £292 million ($463 million, 348 million euro) transformation of the Olympic Park, which began when the London 2012 Games ended, is set to take 18 months.

The site, featuring new homes and schools, state-of-the-art venues and public parklands, is set to open in phases from July. It is due to be fully open by early 2014.

Previous Hard Rock Calling headliners include The Who, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, The Police, The Killers, Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi and Paul Simon.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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