In Brief

Rolling Stones to play Hyde Park festival on 6 July

The veteran rockers return to the site of their legendary 1969 gig, but this time it isn't free

THE ROLLING STONES will perform in Hyde Park this summer, 44 years after their first concert in the London park.

The Saturday, 6 July gig will take place less than a week after the veteran band make their first appearance at Glastonbury. The Stones will be the headline act at British Summer Time, a festival featuring 20 bands playing on four stages in Hyde Park. Tickets to the festival go on sale on Friday, but prices have yet to be announced.

"We had such a great time playing the five concerts last year, we want to keep it going!" frontman Mick Jagger said in a statement on the band's website. "Hyde Park holds such great memories for us and we can't think of anywhere better to perform to our UK fans this summer."

Guitarist Keith Richards added: "We all had such a ball last year, and the energy between the band is so good. We can't wait to get back on that stage where the Stones belong."

The first time The Rolling Stones played in Hyde Park was in 1969. The band's guitarist and founding member Brian Jones had died two days earlier and Jagger read a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley in his honour. Thousands of butterflies were then released into the air.

The gig was also the first public outing for Jones' replacement, guitarist Mick Taylor.

The Guardian points out that much has changed since 1969. "Hyde Park 1969, as it was called, was free – but this year's equivalent will be ticketed," it says. "And, in another sign of the times, it will be sponsored by Barclaycard."

The Stones have also announced a North American tour, beginning in May, but with "more recovery time between gigs than in previous years".

"You gotta pace yourself," 69-year-old Jagger said. "We have enough time before we come back to England, so we'll be well recovered."

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