Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hyde Park Mega-Concerts at Risk after Neighbours Complain about the Noise

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hyde Park Mega-Concerts at Risk after Neighbours Complain about the Noise

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Dominiczak, Michael Howie and Miranda Bryant

MAJOR music concerts in Hyde Park could be axed because Westminster council believes they are too noisy. Future performances by the likes of Rihanna and Madonna are under threat after complaints from wealthy Mayfair residents about the "repetitive" noise caused by dance acts.

Boris Johnson is said to be "extremely concerned" and told the Standard: "I want to see Madonna in Hyde Park".

There are fears that the decision could threaten concerts planned for Hyde Park during the Olympics.

Westminster councillors are expected to approve new restrictions at a meeting on Friday.

The local authority faced a storm of protest over its plans to charge for parking in the evenings and on weekends, which were abandoned last month following the resignation of council leader Colin Barrow.

Organisers of events including the O2 Wireless festival today said all future concerts in the park could now be at risk.

The council is targeting dance acts such as The Chemical Brothers, who played to more than 30,000 people at the festival last summer. A report for the licensing sub-committee says 109 complaints about noise were made last year, double the number in 2010.

Westminster wants to cut the number of concerts allowed each year from 13 to six; to lower the noise level from 75 to 73 decibels; and to reduce crowds from a maximum of 80,000 people to 50,000 on safety grounds.

John Probyn, chief operating officer of concert promoters Live Nation, said: "The sound levels allowed in Hyde Park are already lower than any other venue in the country. If they reduce it any more then artists simply will not want to play the venue."

The Mayor said: "We're very much hoping that Hyde Park will continue to be a great venue for London for the future. Obviously we need to meet the concerns of residents but Westminster will hopefully address those and Hyde Park will continue to be a great venue for London. …

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