Tragically Hip's final concert to be broadcast live on CBC

The final concert of the Tragically Hip's upcoming summer tour will be broadcast and streamed live on CBC.

August concert in Kingston, Ont., will be live on CBC-TV, Radio One, Radio 2, cbcmusic.ca and YouTube

The Tragically Hip's 15-date Man Machine Poem tour this summer will cross much of Canada, with members Gord Sinclair, Paul Langlois, Gord Downie, Johnny Fay and Rob Baker ending the series in the band's Kingston, Ont., hometown. The final concert will be broadcast and streamed live by CBC. (Clemens Rikken/Canadian Press )

The final concert of the Tragically Hip's upcoming summer tour will be broadcast and streamed live on CBC.

The news comes after many frustrated Hip heads who couldn't get tickets called on the public broadcaster to air the band's final show. It's set for the Rogers K-Rock Centre in the Hip's hometown of Kingston, Ont., on Aug. 20, where the street in front of the arena is named after the band.

Tickets for the highly anticipated Man Machine Poem tour — announced after frontman Gord Downie revealed he has incurable brain cancer — sold out in seconds before popping up at dramatically inflated prices on resale sites like StubHub.

After struggling to get their hands on pre-sale tickets, fans started floating the idea of a CBC broadcast in online petitions and open letters addressed to management. Emma Bédard, a spokeswoman for the CBC, said the public broadcaster was already looking at ways to air the concert before the requests started coming in.

The announcement CBC will be airing the final show coincides with Friday's release of Man Machine Poem, the group's 14th studio album.

Brain cancer diagnosis

Hip lead singer Gord Downie, seen performing in 2005, revealed in May that he has been diagnosed with an aggressive, incurable form of brain cancer. The Hip frontman says he'll join his bandmates for a summer tour in support of the group's new album. (Fred Greenslade/Reuters)

Last month, Downie said he was diagnosed in December with an aggressive, incurable form of brain cancer — glioblastoma.

Despite the illness, Downie vowed to join his bandmates of more than 30 years for a summer tour in support of the new album.

The band has since added shows in some cities and revamped arena seating to allow for more tickets to be sold. The 15-date Canada-only tour will go to Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, London, Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa, before ending in Kingston.

The Kingston show will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast and streamed — commercial free — on CBC Television, CBC Radio One, CBC Radio 2, cbcmusic.ca and CBC's YouTube channels. 

Heather Conway, CBC's executive vice-president, English Services, said the band's summer tour will be important.

"The Tragically Hip's enigmatic sound, their poignant and witty lyrics, and the unique, special relationship they have with their fans have helped define and influence our identity as Canadians," she said in a statement.

"CBC and the Hip are so happy to be able to share this event with all Canadians and bring audiences across the country and around the world together to celebrate the moment."


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