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Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour rocks Montreal

The Story

He's a 1980s Peter Pan who's living in a Jungle Book fantasy, say gossip writers. Yet in the summer of 1984 Michael Jackson is also the biggest pop star on the planet. Some 60,000 fans in Montreal buy tickets to see Jackson and his brothers bring their Victory tour to Olympic Stadium on the first of two dates. Most are thrilled to be there, but afterward, some concertgoers complain of poor sound. As reporter Josh Freed points out on CBC-TV's The Journal, everyone at the concert that night will some day forget the flaws and boast that they were there.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Sept. 17, 1984
Guests: Mark Bego, Tommy Schnurmacher, Donald K. Tarlton
Host: Mary Lou Finlay, Barbara Frum
Reporter: Josh Freed
Duration: 6:00

Did You know?

• The Victory tour, in which Michael Jackson performed with his brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, Randy and Tito, launched in Kansas City on July 6, 1984.


• Canadian concert dates were not scheduled when the tour began and, the Globe and Mail wrote, "according to tour organizers, it is extremely unlikely the Jacksons will play in Canada." However, the tour eventually stopped for two nights in Montreal and three nights each in Toronto and Vancouver.


• Toronto dates seemed unlikely because the only suitable venue, Exhibition Stadium, was booked for Blue Jays games in the summer and Argonauts games in the fall. The huge Victory tour, with its sound system and elaborate staging, required 11 days to set up and break down. Nevertheless, promoters managed to squeeze it in.


• Victory tour promoters were so certain that Toronto would not be included that they made a promise: "Any Canadian fan with a ticket stub from any Buffalo show will get a free ticket to any Toronto show." When the tour did play Toronto, thousands of fans who'd been there in Buffalo saw it for free. 


• Tickets for the Victory tour were about $40 ($83 in 2014 dollars). 




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