Rock stars threaten to pull plug on Hyde Park gigs

 

The future of live music in Hyde Park was in doubt last night after some of the world's biggest music acts threatened not to play at the central London venue if proposals to limit noise levels are enforced.

Performers may boycott the park in protest at Westminster Council's plan to reduce the number of major concerts, cut crowd numbers and dramatically reduce noise levels. The production company behind some of the world's biggest music acts warned yesterday that it may advise its clients not to play there.

Councillors said last night that the number of concerts in the park would be cut from 13 a year to nine from 2013, and that the park's capacity would be reduced from 80,000 to 65,000.

The council also pledged "additional measures" to keep noise levels down and will monitor the volume of events throughout 2012 following complaints from residents.

The proposals could lead to a permanent reduction in noise levels, a situation condemned by rock stars, politicians and the park's authorities.

It was feared that the London Live programme, scheduled to coincide with the Olympics, would be threatened by the proposals. But councillors confirmed that live music events scheduled for this year, including Olympic gigs and performances by Bruce Springsteen and Madonna, would go ahead.

Music promoter John Giddings, whose clients include the Rolling Stones, U2 and Madonna, said he would advise his clients not to play Hyde Park if the council cuts noise limits to a "second division" level. "What the council is doing is ludicrous," he said.

"Top acts will not want to perform if they have to cut the sound and that is what I'll say they should do. I will be advising them not to play Hyde Park if this goes through."

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, joined the chorus of criticism ahead of a meeting yesterday and urged Westminster councillors to reconsider. "These councillors are the custodians of the crown jewels of London's outdoors," he said. "They are right to respect their residents but they also have a responsibility to the economic viability of the capital as a whole.

"They cannot jeopardise not only the Olympics but further popular and lucrative entertainment without soberly considering the consequences."

A spokesman for the Royal Parks Agency, which manages Hyde Park, said restrictions could force concerts to be scrapped.

"Dramatic restrictions on sound levels would result in the cancellation of concerts in Hyde Park this year and beyond," he told the Evening Standard. Residents have complained of unbearable noise in their homes when live events are held in the park. Businesswoman Karen Scarborough, 57, said that the volume in the bedroom of her Connaught Square flat was "as if I were in the front row."

Blur guitarist Graham Coxon called the council "killjoys". "These festivals don't happen that often anyway," he said. "Why make it an issue? If you're going to have a festival in a big open space it's going to be loud, that's a fact. The council should back down."

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test