Live Nation is using the May 24 Mumford & Sons show at Holland Park as a test to see if the park - and the City of Surrey, for that matter - will be suitable for more large concerts in the future.
Erik Hoffman of Live Nation said the global concert promoter has been looking to hold shows in Surrey over the last few years. While Mumford & Sons will likely be Live Nation's only ticketed show at Holland Park this year, he said there's potential for it to become a regular venue in the promoter's annual Concerts in the Park series.
"It's absolutely something that we'll consider for the future," he said. "Obviously, we want to get one under our belt, see what the full experience is like, see what the transportation is like.
"With this kind of thing, we're starting with one of the biggest bands in the world and moving backwards," he added with a laugh.
Owen Croy, manager of Surrey's Parks, Recreation & Culture department, said the city thought the Grammy Award-winning quartet - which, with only two albums in the last four years, is a staggering 22-times platinum worldwide - would be a good fit for Holland Park.
"This is the kind of thing that that park was purpose-built for," said Croy. "When we designed it, we had in mind what we call the Great Events Lawn, the big lawn where we set up for Fusion Festival and for other special things that have happened.
"We've had over 20,000 people there for Malkit Singh, Sam Roberts, Jay Sean and others, so we know the site can handle it."
Currently, Live Nation schedules many outdoor concerts at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby or Stanley Park's Malkin Bowl and the PNE Amphitheatre in Vancouver. Holland Park was picked this year for several reasons, including access to transit and a solid track record, having been the site of the Fusion Festival over the last five years and one of the Olympics Celebration sites in 2010.
"It's an amazing location in regards to transportation and there's a lot of parking in and around that area, but most importantly, the SkyTrain's almost right at the entrance to the park," said Hoffman, noting that organizers are encouraging concertgoers to take public transit or take advantage of the event's onsite bike valet. "It was a big selling feature when we were selecting the site."
Croy added that while there are residential neighbourhoods surrounding the site, the city has only received a handful of complaints over the years.
"For the most part, we choose bands and individual singers who have something attractive for all," he said. "We've had more complaints from big soccer tournaments going on in some of our large parks than we have had from holding events in Holland Park."
As for details about the Mumford & Sons show, Hoffman said the stage will be larger than that of the Fusion Festival, and he's confident M&S will receive a capacity crowd.
"It's the best chance for a sell-out of almost any act on the road right now," he said.
"They're highly in demand, they're an act that people haven't seen a lot of quite yet and obviously they're having a banner year."
Tickets for the all-ages general admission show go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 5 at 10 a.m.
Tickets can be purchased online at livenation.com, by phone at 1-855-985-5000 or in person at Red Cat Records, Highlife and all Ticketmaster outlets. Fans can also apply for an invitation-only sale to gain first access to tickets at invitation.mumfordandsons.com. email@example.com
© Copyright 2013