Calling Bruce

It took less than an hour for fans to snap up all 45,000 tickets for the second night of Hard Rock Calling, which will feature Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at London’s Hyde Park June 28.

The American rocker may now lessen his stance toward show promoter Live Nation and Ticketmaster, the main box office link, after publicly criticizing the possible merger of the two entertainment giants.

“[We’ve] just got to do the same on all the other shows now and we’d be laughing,” said Live Nation U.K. chief ops officer John Probyn.

It’s the first Hyde Park show the company has put on sale since retaining the contract to promote live music events at the capital’s famous Royal venue. The full June 27-28 bill hasn’t been announced but it will include Dave Matthews Band and The Gaslight Anthem.

A week later (July 4-5), Live Nation will use the park for the 25,000-capacity O2 Wireless Festival, which has Basement Jaxx on the first night and is expected to name the other acts by the end of the month.

In 2008, LN’s Hyde Park week produced ticket sales of 185,000 at an average of nearly 26,500 tickets per show day.

The park deal lasts three years and LN held on to the contract despite opposition from AEG in the shape of Kilimanjaro Live.

Kilimanjaro chief Stuart Galbraith promoted Hyde Park shows for Live Nation until his departure to its major rival.

Kilimanjaro, in cahoots with John Jackson’s K2 agency, has since started the new Sonisphere Festival (Aug. 1-2) at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, another of the U.K.’s landmark outdoor venues. European versions of Sonisphere for this summer have been announced in Holland, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Finland.

Some reports suggest Galbraith has set up Sonisphere – a rock-oriented bill featuring Metallica andLinkin Park and other rock heavyweights – to go up against LN’s Download Festival, another event he promoted when he worked for the company.

Probyn said it was obvious from the day Galbraith was shown the door at LN that he would compete in the festival business. Both appear to agree that the fans will “vote with their feet,” as Probyn said.

The June 12-14 Download bill includes Slipknot, The Prodigy, Motley Crue, Korn, Dragonforce and Pendulum.