Arkells 'rally' set to take over Hamilton Saturday

Hamilton band, Arkells will be hosting their largest show on Saturday at Tim Horton's Field and they've been promoting the city in the process of planning for what they're calling, "The Rally."

It's their biggest show to date and the city's largest outdoor concert in decades

For Saturday's Arkells show HSR is doing the ticket to ride program where ticket holders can ride the bus for free by showing their ticket. (Arkells/Facebook)

Back where they started, Hamilton band, Arkells are in their hometown and playing not only the band's biggest show to date, but the city's largest outdoor stadium concert in decades.

And they're happily promoting the city in the process.

They're calling it "The Rally," an evening of song and dance to kick off the summer.

And yes, there are even free rally towels they'll be giving to fans.

On Saturday, Tim Horton's Field will play host and because of the large demand, it became a full stadium show to include the upper bowl.

"It's a labour of love this job," Arkells frontman, Max Kerman told CBC News.

This is the only Arkells summer show from the 905 to the 416, said the band's site, "and we're extra jazzed because it's right in our backyard."

Bands Cold War Kids, Bishop Briggs, and Ellevator, another band from Hamilton, will be opening for Arkells. 

"We don't get a chance to perform in this neck of the woods as much as we'd like, so we've recruited some of our favourite acts to help out for the occasion," read their site.

The set will include tunes from all of their albums.

"We've had the opportunity to curate the day exactly as we'd want a concert to be curated so we started from the lineup," said Kerman.

Rallying around Hamilton

The band that's named after the street they lived on when they went to McMaster University, is using the event to rally around the city.

The show starts at 5. p.m. But the activities connected to the show start hours earlier.

As with a Ticats games, HSR is doing the ticket-to-ride program for the show where ticketholders can ride the bus for free by showing their ticket. 

"The fact that we can support public transportation and champion people taking the bus," is something Kerman says he's excited about.

The band is also planning to ride Sobi bikes to the stadium and inviting fans to join them.

The ride is leaving from Gore Park at 1:30 p.m. and headed to the rally. It's not a problem if you aren't a member of the bike share program, all bikes are welcome they say. 

There's also a market with over 20 vendors located at stadium plaza at the Cannon Street entrance. "The Rally Market" will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. People can find local art as well as food.

For fans coming from outside the city, the band have even included restaurant recommendations on their site to promote local establishments, and they've put a callout on Twitter for restaurants to send them their weekend menus and plans to share with their fans. 

Last month they released their video for their song People's Champ, that features many locations across Hamilton — including an HSR bus. 

Tourism Hamilton has a map on their site of all the locations they used while shooting to video.

According to the tourism site, the rally will be Hamilton's largest outdoor stadium concert in decades with the largest being in 1975 when Pink Floyd over 50,000 pilled in Ivor Wynne Stadium.

They band is also giving back directly. For every ticket sold, a dollar will be donated to Refugee Hamilton Centre for Newcomer Health.