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Fewer dates for music at Wembley Stadium

Head of business development, Jim Frayling, will leave after 13 years at the end of January as the London venue prioritises football

By Rhian Jones on 17 Jan 2017


Wembley Stadium’s head of business development, Jim Frayling, will leave after 13 years at the end of this month as the London venue plans to limit the amount of dates available for music programming.

It’s understood that Frayling has exited during a restructure as a result of an increased focus on football at the stadium, with a Spurs residency currently taking place. Events director Lindsey Jackson left in December.

Frayling has played an intrinsic role in securing gigs with Oasis, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Ed Sheeran, Muse, Beyonce, Global’s Capital Summertime Ball, U2, Foo Fighters, The Stone Roses, Jeff Lynne’s ELO and Adele in recent years.

The latter three are set to play in June and July, and Adele is a European stadium exclusive with four dates on June 28/29 and July 1/2. Last year Wembley had six different headliners playing a total of ten shows; making it their best year for music since the new stadium opened in 2007. This year they’ve got three headliners playing a total of six shows. Frayling joined in 2004.

“It’s been brilliant but all good things come to an end. We’ve achieved everything we set out to achieve and the Adele shows are going to be a culmination of that.”

“It’s been brilliant but all good things come to an end,” Frayling tells IQ. “I have loved doing what I do, playing a very small part in putting on these huge events has given me a massive kick. We’ve achieved everything we set out to achieve and the Adele shows are going to be a culmination of that. It feels like I’m going out on a high with Adele, The Stone Roses and ELO.

“It was years ago when I was getting my hair cut that Chris Evans told Jeff Lynne he should play Wembley and my phone went mental so to get that done is huge. In the end it took a week from definite enquiry to announced, contracted and on sale, which fulfilled an ambition. Wembley can genuinely claim to be a world-class stadium now.”

Wembley Stadium will continue to host gigs, but within a more limited window of time, and partnership development manager Danielle Russell is now taking charge of bookings. “I’m leaving things in really good hands with Danielle. She is brilliant,” Frayling adds.

“She took Ed Sheeran from start to finish with me in the background during his run of three shows in 2015 and she is more than ready to do more. Along with Danielle and the events team, I know people will be in good hands.”

Frayling has yet to decide what he’ll do next and is open to opportunities in sport and/or music. “If I could do both I’d be delighted but either one would be fantastic,” he says. “Whatever I do next I will remain a huge fan of live music and the industry itself.”

 


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