London venue will host Wireless and Hard Rock Calling festivals in July
Live Nation has secured an exclusive deal to host gigs at the Olympic Stadium in east London, with the Wireless and Hard Rock Calling festivals scheduled for July.
The world’s biggest live music company, which last year brought the curtain down on more than a decade of running events at Hyde Park, has secured a deal to host events in the Olympic Park and Stadium this summer.
Live Nation has struck the deal with the London Legacy Development Corporation, which is tasked with securing the future of the Olympic Park complex in Stratford.
“Our vision for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has always been as a destination for world class sport as well as major cultural and leisure events,” said London mayor Boris Johnson, chairman of the LLDC. “The confidence shown by one of the world’s leading live entertainment promoters to relocate two of its biggest music festivals from the centre of the capital is a ringing endorsement of out legacy plans.”
Live Nation has confirmed the Wireless Festival and Hard Rock Calling, which had been held at Hyde Park, will be held in the North Park of the Olympic complex in July.
The company is also planning to host a number of concerts in the main stadium, with the first thought to be planned for early July. A weekend of music and events is planned for 27 and 28 July to mark the first anniversary of the start of the 2012 games, although the stadium will not be used.
“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.
The deal follows the recent agreement struck by BT to move into the International Broadcast Centre, making it the production and broadcast base for its new BT Sport channels.
BT, which is developing three TV studios and 20 edit suites, will use the base to broadcast the 38 live Premier League games a season as well as 69 live rugby union games a year on its BT Vision pay-TV service.
“This deal [with Live Nation] marks an important stepping stone towards securing a long-term programme of fantastic events that will make Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park a leading destination both for Londoners and those from further afield,” said Dennis Hone, chief executive of LLDC.
In December, Premier League football club West Ham was given three months to improve the terms of its deal to move into the Olympic Stadium. If it fails to do so Boris Johnson, will pursue alternate options including more music, athletics and other one-off sporting events.
It is understood Live Nation’s music events could continue in the Olympic park even if West Ham becomes the primary occupant of the stadium.
If a deal with West Ham is agreed the club is unlikely to move in until the start of the 2016-17 season, more than four years after the Olympic opening ceremony, with construction work likely to begin in the autumn after the summer music events.
The £160m-plus redevelopment of the main stadium will include the installation of retractable seats and a full roof.
The Olympic park will retain some of its other sports venues including the Aquatics Centre, which is having its seating capacity reduced and is due to re-open by Easter 2014, the cycling velodrome, and the Copper Box, which hosted events including handball.
A velopark is reportedly set to open by next Christmas and the Copper Box, which is to be refitted for concerts, is expected to re-open in time for the first anniversary of the Olympic opening ceremony in July.
Almost £300m will also be invested in significantly changing the surrounding area with plans for almost 10 miles of roads to be rebuilt, 30 new bridges, parkland and housing developments for 7,000 homes over 18 years. The first families will move into the flats of the athletes’ village in September.
• To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly “for publication”.