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Bon Jovi to headline new Hyde Park event

Bon Jovi are headed back to London. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire Bon Jovi are headed back to London. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
1:46 PM

Rock band Bon Jovi are to headline a new festival to be staged in Hyde Park this summer.

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The US act are the first to be announced for the inaugural Barclaycard British Summer Time event, which is being launched by promoter AEG Live. It will take place between June 28 and July 7 with Bon Jovi on stage on July 5.

It comes after Hard Rock Calling and the Wireless Festival were moved by promoter Live Nation to the Olympic Park in Stratford.

The park will feature themed zones with specially designed installations and entertainment, restaurants, cocktail bars and bistros, moving away from the more basic festival staples.

Bon Jovi - whose hits include Living On A Prayer and Wanted Dead Or Alive - were in London this afternoon to announce the shows.

They are to release a new album What About Now? on March 25 and the concert will be part of their Because We Can world tour.

Announcing the concert, frontman Jon Bon Jovi said: “Playing in Hyde Park is a lot of fun. The first time we did it was in 2002.

“Hyde Park is great - especially when you are staying here.”

He said the possibility of a rainy British summer would not affect the band’s performance, adding: “We have performed in snow, rain, dire heat. Bon Jovi has brought rain to deserts. The elements are of no concern here.”

The singer said the band were asked to perform at the Olympic Park but it had been an easy choice to go for the Hyde Park option.

He said: “Hyde Park was a dream venue for me 10 years ago. It was the place I remember the Rolling Stones coming out after the passing of Brian Jones.

“There is a nostalgia and a loyalty to the venue.”

Talking about the new album, he said: “It’s a big rock record with social content. It’s uplifting and optimistic and the single Because We Can is Bon Jovi at its best - big anthems.”

Rob Hallett, president of International Touring for AEG Live, said: “It is fabulous that, as we begin to celebrate a decade of working together with Bon Jovi, we come together again to launch a reimagined series of shows at the iconic Hyde Park.”

AEG Live was awarded the five-year contract to stage concerts in Hyde Park last year, replacing Live Nation which withdrew from the tendering process.

There had been a rise in noise complaints about concerts in the park which led to the capacity being reduced and the number of events being slimmed down.

James Russell, head of events for The Royal Parks, said: “This is a new era for entertainment in Hyde Park.”

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