Sometimes, even rockstars have curfews.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were cut short during a joint performance with Paul McCartney in London’s Hyde Park last night. According to The Guardian, promoters shutdown the event after the three-hour concert pushed past its 10:30 p.m. curfew time.
E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt took to Twitter following the performance to vent his frustrations. “One of the great gigs ever in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state?” he said, shortly afterward adding, “We break curfews in every country but only English cops needs to “punish us” by not letting us leave until the entire crowd goes.”
McCartney had joined Springsteen and his band on stage to perform a couple of Beatles classics, but their mics were turned off right as they were about to head into a new number. The fans—there were apparently 76,000 people in attendance—reportedly began booing when they realized the sound was off, but they weren’t the only one disappointed with the decision. Even London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, criticized the promoter’s call to abide so strictly to the curfew—which was pre-determined by the Westminister’s Council—during a London radio interview on Sunday. “It sounds to me like an excessively efficacious decision. You won’t get that during the Olympics,” he reportedly said. “If they’d have called me, my answer would have been for them to jam in the name of the Lord.”
A spokesperson for Live Nation, the promoters behind the event, which was a part of the Hard Rock Calling Festival, released this statement on the festival’s web site:
“Last night everyone had a fantastic time, in the excellent weather conditions, with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band giving a record-breaking 76,000 people an incredible performance of 29 songs with special guests John Fogerty, Tom Morello & Paul McCartney joining him onstage.
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.
Road closures around Hard Park are put in place at specific times to make sure everyone can exit the area in a safety.’”
For his part, Zandt, seems to have made peace with the organizers—at least if his Twitter stream is any indication. “There’s no grudges to be held. Just feel bad for our great fans. Hard Rock is cool. Live Nation is cool. It’s some City Council stupid rule,” he posted recently. And after that: “Nobody’s blaming England! I owe my life (and radio format) to the British Invasion! And I hear this Boris Johnson is a cool dude.”