Hard Rock Calling A Hit

Live Nation continued to pile up ticket sales at Hard Rock Calling June 26-28, one week after selling out the 80,000-capacity Download Festival.

Headlined by The Killers (June 26), Neil Young (27) and Bruce Springsteen (28), 145,000 tickets were sold at London’s Hyde Park.

It comes at the end of a week where rival promoter AEG Live experienced a soft opening to its first Sonisphere Festival and lost Michael Jackson’s ambitious 50-date London O2 engagement to tragic circumstances.

It was the first show LN had produced in Hyde Park since it fought off opposition from former Live Nation U.K. managing director Stuart Galbraith’s AEG-backed Kilimanjaro Live.

“It worked like a dream,” said LN chief operating officer John Probyn, whose experience of working the venue was a major factor in his company keeping the Royal Parks contract.

Toby Leighton-Pope, the LN promoter who put together a bill that also included a surprise guest appearance from Paul McCartney was particularly pleased with the numbers, coming on the back of the 300,000 tickets he sold for his 27-date arena tour for Girls Aloud. Other artists on the bill included The Kooks, Fleet Foxes, Dave Matthews Band and The Gaslight Anthem.

AEG, in the shape of Kilimanjaro Live, is focusing its efforts into bolstering its bills and its ticket sales, adding 14 acts – including Limp Bizkit – and adding a fourth stage to the U.K. installment of Sonisphere.

That takes place Aug. 1-2 at the 50,000-capacity Knebworth Park in Hertfordshire.