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Live Nation Strikes Deal to Host Concerts at London Olympic Stadium

Olympics Dominate Euro Ratings

The company will bring the Wireless Festival and Hard Rock Calling event to East London after organizing gigs in Hyde Park for years.

LONDON -- Live events giant Live Nation has struck a deal that gives it exclusive rights to organize concerts and music festivals in the British capital's Olympic Park and Olympic Stadium this summer.

The company last year said it wouldn't bid for an extension of a long-running contract that saw it promote concerts at London's Hyde Park. It cited noise restrictions -- which last summer led to a Bruce Springsteen concert being cut off during an encore featuring Paul McCartney -- cost factors and logistics.

On Tuesday, Live Nation said it has struck a deal with London Legacy Development, which manages the future of the Olympic Park in East London. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The contract seems to focus initially on events to be held this summer, ahead of the Olympic Park's full reopening in spring 2014.

The first Live Nation events announced under the new deal are the annual Wireless Festival and Hard Rock Calling, which are set for July.

The music events will be part of a summer series in the Olympic Park that will include RideLondon, a cycling and road race festival and a park reopening celebration featuring music, sports and cultural offerings.

“As the world’s leading provider of music festivals and outdoor events, Live Nation is delighted to have won the inaugural contract for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park,” said John Reid, president of concerts at Live Nation Europe. “In the coming weeks, we will unveil the headline acts for the first Wireless and Hard Rock festivals to be staged in London’s new flagship venue, which promise to be the U.K.’s blockbuster events of 2013.”
 
Said London Mayor Boris Johnson: “Our vision for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has always been as a destination for world-class sport as well as for major cultural and leisure events, and last summer the world saw what an amazing venue we have created with our iconic stadium, sports facilities and new parklands. The confidence now shown by one of the world's leading live entertainment promoters to relocate two of its biggest music festivals from the center of the capital is a ringing endorsement of our legacy plans.”

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai