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This year’s BST is bound to be a big one

Paul Simon, bringing his final Homeward Bound tour to London, will be among the headline acts at Hyde Park festival

08 March, 2018 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Paul Simon is bringing his Homeward Bound tour to BST

THERE’S a particularly vintage selection of acts lined up for this year’s British Summertime (BST) festival in Hyde Park, which runs between July 6 and 15 – with one particularly significant show from Paul Simon as he bids his farewell before retirement.

As well as Simon, Amongst the headliners jetting into central London this summer are Roger Waters, The Cure, Eric Clapton, Michael Bublé and Bruno Mars.

The festival, now in its sixth year, has been pulling in huge names to the Great Oak Stage – a highlight in itself – as rock and pop giants perform under the vast branches spreading across the stage.

With a wraparound screen that brings scope for some dramatic projections – best used by The Rolling Stones in 2013 and Blur on their 2015 Magic Whip Tour show – the stage and screens, when employed to their full potential, together with the colourful Cuban village-style bars and street food village, make for a more encompassing experience.

As ever, the gigs are spread over two weekends, with a series of free events, a food market, bars and other entertainment, as yet to be announced, to take place mid-week. It all begins on the Friday (July 6) with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters bringing his Us + Them tour to the UK for the first time – his first European tour since his sell-out The Wall Live across 2010-2013, the highest grossing tour by any solo artist in history.

Ride will support The Cure

Waters will be joined by special guests, former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft, one-man blues machine Seasick Steve, who evokes veranda sessions with his handmade instruments and tales of woe, and London institution Squeeze, with more to be announced.

The Cure follow on Saturday (July 7) with their 40th anniversary celebration, with special guests Interpol, Goldfrapp, Editors, Ride, Slowdive, The Twilight Sad and more.

The first weekend closes on the Sunday (July 8) with a sold-out show from Eric Clapton – the only person to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame on three occasions – with The Yardbirds, Cream, and as a solo artist.

Special guests announced so far include Santana, Steve Winwood and Gary Clark Jr. The second weekend begins with crooner Michael Bublé on the Friday (July 13), playing his only UK show of 2018 with support yet to be announced. Then, finally a night for the younger ones, with Bruno Mars on Saturday (July 14) with special guest US singer-songwriter Khalid and more to come. Paul Simon closes BST 2018 on the Sunday (July 15), with a very special appearance, bringing his final Homeward Bound tour to London. He will be joined by James Taylor & His All-Star Band, Bonnie Raitt and others to be revealed.

Since it launched with The Rolling Stones in 2013, BST has attracted the likes of The Libertines (2014), Taylor Swift (2015), Stevie Wonder, Florence + The Machine and Kendrick Lamar in 2016 and Carole King, Justin Bieber and Phil Collins in 2017.

Tom Petty was amongst last year’s headliners, playing what turned out to be one of his final ever gigs.

With so many senior names on this year’s list, who knows who will follow in Paul Simon’s footsteps and hang up their guitar in return for a retirement of gardening?

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