All Set For British Summer Time

Event director Jim King expects in excess of 400,000 people to come through Hyde Park over the next 10 days for what is the fourth edition of British Summer Time under the aegis of AEG. 

Three of the six bills are already sold out, with two more on the brink of doing so, King told an audience of journalists invited to take a look at the site a day before the official start of the festival.

A couple of production changes have been made from last year’s edition: The main stage’s giant LED screen has increased from 900 to 940 square meters.

“I still think we’re the largest festival screen ever,” King said.

Other changes include a rotation of the smaller BarclayCard stage, which is part of optimizing the sound at the event, a task that takes all year, according to the event manager.

Capital Sound is in charge of the audio experience, LoudSound does event production, Star Events got the staging contracts and PRG handles lighting. Before AEG secured a license in 2013, it was a fairly challenging time for concerts in Hyde Park, King recalls.

“Bands didn’t want to play here, sound levels were very low, customer experience was poor,” he said. “What we’ve tried to do is be best in class in every single category.

“We’re in a unique setting in the middle of London. But you’ll get one of the best festival experiences you can get, [within] a five-minute walk from the tube station.”

He wants guests to experience something they haven’t before, which is why most of the buildings that house BST’s many offerings are bespoke creations. Stevie Wonder, Take That, Mumford & Sons, Florence + The Machine, Carole King, and Massive Attack headline the upcoming weekends, June 1-3 and June 8-10, respectively.

Kendrick Lamar, Patti Smith and her band, Olly Murs, Jamie XX, Alabama Shakes and special guest Pharrell Williams are also listed. In between both weekends, Hyde Park will be open to the public, with countless side events, comedy, cinema, concerts and street food offerings on display.