Live Nation to rock London Olympic park in 2013
LONDON (Reuters) - Live Nation Entertainment (LYV.N) said on Tuesday it had secured exclusive rights to host major music concerts in London's Olympic Park and Stadium complex in 2013.
Live Nation, which hosted more than 400 concerts and performances across Europe in the past year, said it has already planned to hold its Wireless Festival and Hard Rock Calling events at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the summer.
"We are delighted to be staging music concerts at the London Olympics venue, which last year became a globally-recognized site for outstanding performances - both in sport and music," John Reid, president of concerts at Live Nation Europe said in a statement on the company's website.
The announcement is a boost for the British government, which provided almost 9 billion pounds of public money to build and provide security for the London 2012 Games, quashing criticism that the east London site could become an expensive white elephant after a glorious summer of sporting drama.
The London Legacy Development Corp (LLDC), set up to transform the park into a viable space for entertainment, leisure and work, said the concerts will form part of a series of events that include a cycling festival, a weekend of music and other activities.
LLDC Chairman and London Mayor Boris Johnson said the Live Nation deal was a ringing endorsement of the efforts made to transform the park.
"Along with the other major international sports events we have already secured this latest news proves that the park has a very bright future indeed," Johnson said in a statement on the LLDC website.
The LLDC is negotiating with West Ham United to try to finalise a deal for the Premier League soccer club to move into the Olympic Stadium.
The deal also provides Live Nation with a venue to stage events that had become a bone of contention for some residents living near London's Royal Parks, who complained that its summer concerts failed to end at the appointed time and were too loud.
Concert-goers were surprised in July when microphones were suddenly switched off on Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen in mid-duet when a Hyde Park concert ran over time.
Financial terms of the London Olympic venue contract have not been disclosed. Details of the music acts and dates to perform at the site will be announced in the first quarter of 2013, Live Nation said.
(Reporting by Paul Casciato; editing by Keith Weir)
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