Rolling Stones Blast 'Dysfunctional' Regulations At Levi’s Stadium

Matt Bigler
September 12, 2019 - 10:51 am
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones perform onstage at Rose Bowl on August 22, 2019 in Pasadena, California.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Rolling Stones' recent performance at Levi's Stadium has now led to a war of words among the legendary band, Santa Clara and the 49ers.

The Stones' August concert may have been a hit with fans, but the band’s tour promoters said the city’s regulations make it unlikely the band will return.

In a heated letter to stadium officials, the Stones' production manager John Morrison complained about “restrictive” and “dysfunctional” last minute rule changes that forced the band to cancel a pyrotechnics show and even barred catering crews from feeding the band.

Regulations make it “no longer worth the effort to play there” and questions whether the stadium even wants touring shows, Morrision said.

"Your facility is top notch, your staff commendable, and yet each time someone mentions playing Levi's we all cringe knowing that some new rule will be applied to the show just before we either start loading in or before the show,” he wrote. 

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While the Stones were allowed to extend the curfew by one hour, the band’s permit did not allow fireworks after 10 p.m., forcing the cancellation of the pyrotechnics portion of the night's revelry. 

This is the latest in a series of incidents that have prompted finger pointing between city officials and the 49ers, who operate the stadium.

Santa Clara City Manager Diana Santana told the Mercury News that the team brought several issues to the city’s attention late, forcing officials to make decisions with a very short time frame.

But the team says the band’s complaints reflect a combative attitude from the city that will hurt the stadium’s ability to book top talent.

The harsh criticism echoes previous complaints about the city's 10 p.m. curfew on weeknights, an issue that reportedly prompted Ed Sheeran to cancel a show at Levi’s last year.

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor has repeatedly defended the early curfew, which was a condition of the stadium’s development.

“Keep in mind, a 10 o’clock ending of an event, means 12 o’clock before everyone is out of the area,” she told KCBS Radio last year. “If we extend it to 11 o’clock on a weeknight, it means 1 a.m. that everyone’s out. And so, is that reasonable or not?”