Music

Evolution of the QEOP – from national sporting sanctuary to music mecca

Who remembers the 2012 Olympics? Oh right, literally everybody. They were pretty much the most important cultural event in Britain since young Bill Shakespeare realised teaching kids wasn’t going to get him any money or chicks and set off for London.

The Olympics descended upon whiny, rainy Britain and taught us pride and self-respect. They were the radiant Julia Roberts to our downtrodden Hugh Grant, the Kes to our Billy. When the Olympics left us, we worried we might never feel the same way again.

Silly of us to worry, really, when the Olympics left behind the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, pretty much the coolest outdoor space in the Western Hemisphere. In particular, we at Ticketmaster are thrilled that Live Nation will be providing London with more to watch at the site than a big twisty sculpture. This summer, their exclusive partnership with the London Legacy Development Corporation will bear fruit, with a host of amazing events hitting the park for its second summer of love.

From the decibel overload of Kasabian at Hard Rock Calling to the gentle strains of Mumford and Sons at ‘Gentleman of the Road,’ from the park-rocking beats of Jay-z and Justin Timberlake to the mournful crooning of the boss himself, Mr Bruce Springsteen, there won’t be anywhere better for live music this year.

But how are the plans coming along? According to John Reid, European President of Live Nation, even better than they’d hoped. “We’re flying,” he tells me. “Mumford and sons should be sold out this week, next week, Jay Z’s night is sold out at Wireless, Justin Timberlake’s night is sold out at Wireless…”

I have to stop him before I get too over-excited. So why the big rush? “I think the PR around the site… helped us get the talent, so that helps the public’s position.”

“Of course they’re going to go see Mumford and Sons wherever Mumford and Sons want to play, but in this case it all worked out for everybody.”

That’s not to say the project is without its challenges. “We’re dealing with a site for live music which has never been used for live music before,” says John. “That brings a number of issues from the layout of the place to the infrastructure.”

However, he’s keen to stress that they’re right on time, the artists all love it and, excitingly, should this summer go to plan Live Nation have their eye on a similar site in another British city.

Of course, once you’ve been along to one of the events, you’ll be able to go back again and again to enjoy the scenery. The London Legacy Development Corporation say the North Park will be open in July 2013, exactly a year after the opening ceremony. We’re not just excited about the artists on show at Live Nation’s events, but all the future creatives who’ll be coming out of the area for years thanks to the Olympic legacy projects.

All of this excitement has got us thinking about the moments we’re most looking forward to at the Olympic Park this summer. Have a read, then tell us yours!

5: When Bruce Springsteen pulls out ‘Glory Days’ and it’s totally amazing because it’s all about someone who used to play sport and we’re in a place that used to be for sport.

4: When Jay Z does ‘Empire State of Mind’ and we’re all thinking ‘screw New York, I want to stay here.’

3: When some idiot inevitably tries to climb the ArcelorMittal Orbit and is both celebrated and decried by the fickle crowds below.

2: When we finally hear Haim’s otherworldly tones in the epic setting they were made for.

1: The endless sporting fantasies we’ll be living out with friends on our well-refreshed journeys home.

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