Stones give Toronto some satisfaction
Date: Tuesday, June 24 2003
TORONTO -- It's official. Toronto will get the satisfaction of a Rolling Stones concert this summer.
Mick Jagger hinted earlier this month that he and the boys would make a detour from their current European tour to perform in Toronto on July 30, but the announcement was made official at a news conference this morning.
"We're very happy to tell you we're coming to play on July 30 in a great concert for the people and city of Toronto to help bring back the energy to our favourite city,'' Stones frontman Mick Jagger said Tuesday in a videotaped statement played at a downtown square where the concert was officially announced.
The concert is designed to boost Toronto's SARS-ravaged economy.
"The greatest band in the world is going to play in the greatest city in the world," shouted Mayor Mel Lastman.
"Toronto is a safe city. Toronto is a great city. And after the Stones play here the whole world is going to know it."
But the most surprising news is that it isn't just a Stones concert at the former Downsview military base, but an eight-hour musicfest featuring AC/DC, The Guess Who, Justin Timberlake, Sam Roberts, The Flaming Lips, Kathleen Edwards and Sass Jordan. The day-long event will be hosted by Dan Ackroyd and Jim Belushi.
"Come to Toronto and enjoy it," said Deputy Prime Minister John Manley.
Although originally speculated to be free, the concert will still be a steal at a cost of $21.50 per person. Tickets go on sale Friday across North America. In the Toronto area, A&P and Dominion stores will also be selling tickets starting Tuesday.
Any profits from the concert are to go to hospital and hospitality workers, as well as $1 from each ticket sold.
The concert had been discussed for weeks by Toronto MP Dennis Mills.
Mills and Senator Jerry Grafstein have spent recent weeks trying to dredge up private and public support for the concert's $10 million price tag. The federal government will reportedly shell out $3 million to help with infrasture.
But Mills says no government money will be involved in paying the artists.
"We're hoping by the end of July that with this event we'll bring at least 150,000 of our neighbours from the south and fill up every motel and hotel from Niagara Falls right through to Oshawa,'' Mills said.