Gigs nearly ruined by two crows

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City music fans travelling to gigs at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer almost had them ruined by two nesting crows.

Hard Rock Calling was enjoyed by 80,000 thousand fans last weekend, with up to a further 60,000 due to return to the Park this Saturday to see Marcus Mumford and his band perform another sell-out set.

The gig, part of the Summer Stampede, was the second in a series of ticketed music and sports events taking place on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park throughout the summer, giving people a taste of what they can expect when the Park fully opens in spring 2014.

But unbeknownst to music fans, for weeks these all-star events hung in the balance, thanks to the antics of two crows. The disruptive duo were affectionately nicknamed Sheryl and Russell by site construction workers. Sheryl nested in the former Olympic basketball arena during the final and critical work to dismantle the temporary venue ahead of building the concert stage.

Acting on advice from Natural England experts, and in line with its commitment to protect wildlife throughout the Park’s 18 month transformation programme, London Legacy Development Corporation halted construction and got to work on a contingency plan to find an alternative site in the Park for the concerts.

With just days to spare until the series of high profile concerts kicked off, including Hard Rock Calling; Mumford & Sons; Yahoo! Wireless and Electric Daisy Carnival, Sheryl and baby Russell eventually flew the nest; meaning the basketball frame could be dismantled, the stage erected and the concerts go ahead.

Dennis Hone, CEO, London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “Sheryl and Russell caused us all a few sleepless nights but we did become quite attached to them in the end! We have always put wildlife and the environment first, throughout the Park’s transformation. Luckily at the eleventh hour nature took its course allowing work to continue so we’re able to welcome tens of thousands of visitors back to the Park for a summer of great events.”

This summer is just a taste of what’s to come ahead of the full opening of the Park in the spring next year, when visitors will be able to fully enjoy this amazing Park and its world class facilities. Anyone planning to visit the Park should check our website before travelling to find what is open and the best way to get there.