Live Nation has restructured its O2 Wireless Festival in the U.K.
DJ Fatboy Slim will headline the July 6-8 festival, which will take place only at London's Hyde Park after the city of Leeds was dropped from the line-up. Harewood House, Leeds, hosted a northern England leg from 2006 and 2007.
No official reason has been given for shelving the Leeds show. But a Live Nation U.K. spokesperson says there are no immediate plans to resurrect it.
The U.K. unit of the live-music promotion giant unveiled its plans today (Feb. 13) when it announced the 2008 Hyde Park event's first headliners.
Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) is scheduled to perform on Saturday, July 5. He will be joined by U.S. funk legend Bootsy Collins, who is making his first U.K. appearance in seven years, and dance act Underworld. Hot producer Mark Ronson will also play.
The event will be Live Nation's first U.K. festival launch since the dismissal of managing director Stuart Galbraith  last September. Galbraith has since launched his own promoter/festival organizer, Kilimanjaro Live.
In the past, Galbraith, VP music Steve Homer, and festival director John Probyn were responsible for organizing and hosting Live Nation's U.K. festivals. "There used to be three, now there is a team of two," Homer told Billboard.biz about the new internal structure for festival organization.
When Billboard.biz asked what will make this year's Wireless Festival different, Homer continued: "It will be more focused on individual artists, so that it feels as if each one is playing their biggest London gig this year."
Probyn concurred: "You sometimes get situations at festivals when they feel like a conveyor belt of artists. Having someone like Norman (Cook) is great news because he has such a great stage presence. But we shall also be inviting fans to go to the other stages so that they can discover individual acts they had not originally come to see."
Live Nation U.K. will host its first showcase for new talent at the Wireless Festival. "Until now, these have been done by sponsors. We're doing it ourselves this year and we're now trying to work out how we shall do it differently," Probyn added.
Live Nation says more details will be disclosed during the next two weeks.
The prices for tickets available so far range from £40 ($78) for early purchasers of July 5 tickets to £179 ($350) for one-day "VIP Experience" packages.