London’s Olympic Stadium to reopen as a music venue

London Olympic Stadium as seen from above.

London Olympic Stadium as seen from above.

As anyone who saw it knows, the big theme of the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics was, in essence, how awesome British culture is; from the shoutout to the Only Fools and Horses episode where Rodney and Del-Boy go to a funeral dressed like Batman and Robin to all the many, many musical guests who performed live, it was truly a sight to behold.

However, the stadium is set to reopen in July 2013 as a rock venue, expected to be a rival to venues like Hyde Park, The O2, and Wembley Stadium. Of course, final contracts have yet to be signed, but the plan is that some events that are normally held at Hyde Park are to locate to the Olympic Stadium, and this includes rock concerts. Dennis Hone, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “The exciting thing for us is that we have the opportunity to put on some major events in the park – some music events and festivals and an anniversary weekend on 27 and 28 July.” Hone added that he hoped to announce details of the programme in the coming weeks.

Live Nation has lost the right to stage concerts by its artists in Hyde Park from 2013-7, losing its contract to AEG. Not to be daunted, however, Live Nation UK’s Chief Operating Officer John Probyn told NME he had ideas for a replacement, and all but flat-out stated that he was looking towards Olympic Stadium.

Hyde Park has come under fire after a rare duet between Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen (singing “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist and Shout”) was cut short after Hyde Park’s Powers that Be cut the mics due to curfew issues, and around the same time, Blur’s reunion gig was rendered inaudible due to noise restrictions. At least one NME correspondent has questioned whether or not the venue is even fit for the concerts it’s been holding anymore. Despite all of this, a spokesman for The Royal Parks told the BBC that a total of eight concerts would still take place at Hyde Park this year.

Meanwhile, as anyone who has seen the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Olympics can see that no such complaints can be lodged against the Olympic Stadium.

All I can say is that at least there’s no sign that this Olympic Stadium will end up being anywhere near as useless as the one in Montreal proved to be.


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