Paul McCartney to play Halifax
Paul McCartney is coming to Halifax.
The ex-Beatle announced Wednesday he's "very happy" to be performing at an outdoor concert on July 11.
"The Canadian audiences are great and the timing of the event, with the arrival of the Tall Ships, means that it will be an exciting event for us all," McCartney said on his website. "We are looking forward to rocking in Halifax."
Local promoters say it will be McCartney's only concert in Canada this year and are calling it the "largest and most exciting" concert in Halifax's 260-year history.
"This iconic and legendary performer's presence in our city will be an historic event for all Atlantic Canadians," said Harold MacKay, president of Power Promotional Events.
The concert is expected to attract 60,000 fans — 10,000 more than the crowd at the Rolling Stones show in September 2006.
Tickets will go on sale May 29 at 9 a.m. AT through Ticket Atlantic and at participating Atlantic Superstore locations.
Tickets will cost $125 for general admission and $305 for VIP tickets. Promoters say between 5,000 and 6,000 VIP seats will be available.
Wednesday's announcement ends the rumours that have been circulating since McCartney's representatives toured the Halifax Common last spring.
Last April, MacKay took McCartney's senior tour staff to the park. He said they were impressed with the site, but there wasn't enough time to set up an event that summer.
Halifax radio personality J.C. Douglas said he's excited to see Paul McCartney perform again.
Douglas has been to McCartney concerts in England and Montreal but this time, he would like the chance to meet the former Beatle in person.
"Working in radio, you get to meet a lot of stars and things and there's no one I'd rather meet than Paul McCartney," Douglas said. "He's been at the top of that list for my entire career and I'm sort of hoping that might happen, I don't know."
McCartney is playing a week before KISS headlines an outdoor concert in the park. That has some local residents concerned about the potential damage hosting two big concerts so close to one another could do to the Halifax Commons.
"In terms of the environment that we all want to come sit in and spend the afternoon in and the dogs and sports events, I mean, that's not as possible because of these concerts they bring in and it ruins the property," M.E. Woodside said.
Last summer, the city placed 30 rolls of plastic weave on the grounds to protect the grass during a Keith Urban concert. However, the grass was uprooted when the covering was removed.
Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly admits that the city didn't get everything perfect last summer.
"This is an opportunity for us to see what can happen," Kelly said on Wednesday. "This is the first time back-to-back concerts, too. Same venue, same staging and other aspects. So for us, it's a way of testing things out and making things better and we learn from the process."