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Springsteen and Macca switch-off was down to the Boss
The decision by the promoters Live Nation to pull the plug on Bruce Springsteen’s jam with Paul McCartney at the end of his weekend concert in Hyde Park angered many people. Among them was the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who pledged nothing of the sort would be happening during the Olympics. Wanna bet? Adidas, not Boris, calls the shots.
My sympathies in the matter lie rather more with the local residents than with fans of Bruce and Macca. It is entirely reasonable that an event should end when it is supposed to end, by which I mean when it is licensed to end. Rock music is not to everyone’s taste. No more is opera: remember the fuss there used to be from some residents of Garsington over the festival held at the manor there.
Had the Boss begun on time, instead of breezing up half an hour late, there might have been no problem. Well, perhaps there would have been, for the star, it seems, is beginning to behave like another old crooner, Ken Dodd, and achieving notoriety for long, self-indulgent sets. Springsteen’s tardiness, incidentally, was not mentioned in first reports of the switch-off; I learned of it from a letter to the Daily Telegraph sent by one of the 70,000 fans left waiting for the concert to begin.
I must confess to a prejudice against rock events in Hyde Park that arises — and I don’t deny this is an entirely selfish point — from inconvenience to me once caused by one. This was a show a couple of summers ago by the Kings of Leon, whose fans filled every Oxford Tube bus home for some hours after it ended. After a fruitless wait (following an opera in Holland Park) further along the route, I forked out more than a hundred quid for a taxi.