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Preview: Hard Rock Calling 2013

Kimberley Manderson


Formerly nicknamed Hyde Park Calling due to its central London location, Hard Rock Calling is back for its eighth consecutive year in 2013 – only this time with a new home in the form of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The move, which sees the festival host the first event at the venue since the London 2012 Olympics from June 29-30, comes after a tumultuous 2012 festival. Despite the poor weather all round, thousands of fans turned up to see American legend Bruce Springsteen close the event. However, what they hadn’t banked on was organisers pulling the plug on the musician – along with Beatle Paul McCartney, with whom he was duetting – due to curfews and noise complaints.

So after a headline-making event in 2012 (for all the wrong reasons), a new stadium venue sees the return of Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band, once again closing the festival on June 30. The two-day event is packed with musical giants – past and present – fulfilling just what you’d expect from a rock event.

Headliners on the Saturday are indie giants Kasabian, who follow a string of similar acts including Manc marvels The Cribs, the Modfather himself Paul Weller and his protégé Miles Kane. Klaxons, Kodaline and Tribes cover other fringes of the genre like indie-dance, folk-rock and Britpop-esque respectively, so there’s essentially something for everyone.

If you were looking to go on the Sunday for any other reason than The Boss himself, (as if, but let’s pretend..) there are other US rock delights to capture your attention, in the form of The Black Crowes and Alabama Shakes. The second day also features British rockers Deaf Havana and Italy’s Negramaro in case anyone was thinking there might be some sort of rock racism going on.

There are still tickets left for both days, which is baffling considering the aforementioned line-up. In true capitalistic style, the American day costs more. This is obviously because Springsteen is better than everyone, ever. Or maybe it’s to fund any curfew breaking and impromptu megastar duets?

Either way, it’s definitely worth it to know that whether going one day or both, you can come home from whatever the British summer has thrown at you weather-wise and go for a nice hot shower before diving into a comfy bed rather than crawling into a crusty tent. Or seeing as you’d be in London, you could nip back out to see what the nightlife has to offer. The possibilities are endless. And clean.