Springsteen, McCartney Concert Stifled With 20 Minutes Left by London Authorities

I'd Have Told Them 'Jam in the Name of the Lord!' Says London Mayor

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By Daniel Distant, Christian Post Reporter
July 17, 2012|9:45 am

A Springsteen and McCartney performance ended abruptly when the sound was cut out: the legendary musicians were playing in London's Hyde Park at the 3-day Hard Rock Calling festival, and curfew had to be obeyed.

Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney originally seemed surprised when- at the very end of Springsteen's 3-hour set Saturday, but before the finale- the audio suddenly went dead, leaving fans and the musicians confused. Bruce continued to try to address the crowd, but they couldn't hear him, so the band played a short farewell and left the stage.

"We break curfews in every country," Springsteen's guitarist, Steve Van Zandt, tweeted, complaining of the 10:40 p.m. cutoff. They were supposed to be done by 10:15 p.m., according to CNN. "When did England become a police state?"

Addressing speculation that the concert's promoters were responsible, Van Zandt continued, "Hard Rock would have let us play all night. Live Nation is cool. … It's some stupid City Council rule." He also claimed they would have been finished with the music by 11 p.m.

Ever since last year, when Westminster City Council received 130 noise complaints due to concerts in the park, the scale and time of the events have been reduced dramatically. The number of concerts dwindled from 13 to nine, and the allowable crowd size was shrunk from 80,000 to 65,000, according to CNN.

Live Nation, who operated the concert, acknowledged the necessary safety precautions the curfew enforced, but absolved themselves of any blame.

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"It was unfortunate that the three hour plus performance by Bruce Springsteen was stopped right at the very end but the curfew is laid down by the authorities in the interest of the public's health and safety," a representative said. "Road closures around Hyde Park are put in place at specific time to make sure everyone can exit the area safely."

It may have been a question of simply the wrong authorities being called about the situation. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, disagreed with Westminster Council's actions.

"It sounds to me like an excessively efficacious decision," he told London's LBC radio. "You won't get that during the Olympics. If they'd have called me, my answer would have been for them to jam in the name of the Lord!"

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