Will Halifax ever host a big outdoor concert again?
Little talk of big-name shows after concert scandal
It's been five years this week since Paul McCartney played one of the last big outdoor concerts in Halifax, and some promoters are worried costs and little infrastructure will prevent future shows.
Ticket sales for the former Beatle didn't go as well as planned and the show was later tainted by a secret deal between the city and promoter. Nova Scotia taxpayers ended up footing the $359,000 bill.
Since then, there's been little talk of big outdoor concerts.
Brookes Diamond Productions concert promoter Fiona Diamond says it's mainly because of the cost.
“With outdoor concerts, everything has to built, every time, from scratch,” she explained.
Infrastructure is one of the biggest expenses when it comes to Halifax competing globally for headliners.
James Boyle, executive director of the Halifax Pop Explosion festival, suggests investing public funding to build a permanent outdoor location for concerts.
“It’s about all levels of government working together in a public forum, and to show the community we want to invest in this because it's a strong investment,” he said.
“If you want to make events happen here and you build the infrastructure, it could cost a lot on the front end but the economic payoffs are huge on the back end because every time you build it from scratch, you're not leaving a legacy to help it grow for the future.”
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage isn't ruling out municipal involvement.
“If it makes sense to have concerts, if it makes sense for the city to be involved, bring it forward, let's have a look at it,” he said.
The mayor is quick to point he's not a promoter and any proposal would go through regular channels, not his office.