CCE Takes Wireless To The Park

Clear Channel U.K. has taken advantage of its exclusive deal to stage rock concerts in Hyde Park by launching London’s first inner-city outdoor festival.

Following last year’s three record-breaking 85,000-capacity sellouts with Red Hot Chili Peppers, the company has now set up two two-day June events called Wireless Festival.

New Order will headline June 24, followed by Basement Jaxx (25) and then – after a three-day gap – Keane (29) and Kasabian (30) will top the other two nights.

Although the first two days go head-to-head with the 120,000-capacity Glastonbury Festival, the market demographic looks very much different.

A press release announcing the new event pointed out “the bonus for those too old, too young, or just too in love with their creature comforts is that they can return home via any number of easy transport options to a hot shower, a warm bed and then do it all again the next day.”

Hyde Park has hosted a number of groundbreaking open-air concerts. In 1969, the central London park drew about 500,000 visitors for a free concert headlined by The Rolling Stones and has subsequently become a regular summer open-air site.

Britain’s royal family owns the park via Royal Parks and the Prince’s Trust charity organization. The Prince’s Trust hosts the annual single-stage Party in the Park concert, which launched in 1996.

CCE U.K. also organizes the rock-oriented Download Festival, which began in 2003. This year’s Download Festival is set for June 10-12 at Donnington Park with Black Sabbath, Garbage, System of a Down, and Slipknot among the headliners.

Wireless will be the first multi-stage event to be held in the park and will include markets, side shows, world food, “chill-out” areas, acoustic performance space and street theatre.

Other acts to appear at the event – officially titled O2 Music Wireless Festival – are expected to be announced in the next couple of weeks.