Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto
Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto

Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto was a profit rock live performance that was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 30, 2003. It was often known as “Toronto Rocks”, “Stars 4 SARS”, “SARSStock”, “SARSfest”, “SARS-a-palooza”, the “SARS live performance”, or, extra descriptively, “The Rolling Stones SARS Profit Live performance”. Estimated to have between 450,000 and 500,000 individuals attending the live performance, it’s the largest outside ticketed occasion in Canadian historical past, and one of many largest in North American historical past.[1]


The live performance was organized in a few month, upon the suggestion of headliners The Rolling Stones, who wished to assist revive Toronto’s financial system after the SARS outbreaks earlier within the 12 months. (The Rolling Stones have held tour rehearsals in Toronto on a couple of event; Toronto was additionally the setting for Keith Richards’s 1977 arrest and subsequent trial.) When The Rolling Stones introduced the live performance, Toronto was nonetheless beneath a SARS warning from the World Well being Group. The publicity garnered by the SARS outbreak led to a downturn in Toronto’s tourism business, which the live performance was supposed to assist revive.

Tickets for the live performance went on sale on June 27, 2003 and price $21.50 Canadian.[2] The Canadian portion of 150,000 tickets offered out virtually instantly and made a single-day report for the Canadian arm of Ticketmaster.[3]

The live performance was held at Downsview Park in northern Toronto, a former army base which additionally accommodated 800,000 individuals when Pope John Paul II visited the town in 2002. The live performance was hosted by actor/singer Dan Aykroyd, and distributors offered Alberta beef in assist of the Canadian beef business, which had lately suffered due to a case of mad cow illness. North York Normal Hospital, which had been hit the toughest by the SARS outbreak in earlier months, supplied emergency on-site hospital companies. The Toronto water division was initially supposed to supply free water by tapping the groundwater on the web site, however have been unable to take action resulting from well being considerations. The Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) and cable music station MuchMoreMusic supplied protection of components of the live performance all through the day, together with the top of The Rolling Stones’ set.


The live performance opened within the afternoon with the Have Love Will Journey Revue (Aykroyd and James Belushi), Sam Roberts, Kathleen Edwards, La Chicane, The Tea Celebration, The Flaming Lips who invited artists from backstage to bounce on stage with them wearing fuzzy animal costumes, Sass Jordan, The Isley Brothers, and Blue Rodeo. Every band carried out for 15–20 minutes. The second a part of the live performance started later within the afternoon and lasted into the evening and included Justin Timberlake, The Guess Who, Rush, AC/DC, and The Rolling Stones, who carried out a 90-minute set to finish the live performance.

Justin Timberlake was booed by the gang, which was anticipating the harder-rocking second half of the live performance. All through his efficiency he needed to dodge water bottles, rest room paper, muffins, and different gadgets thrown by the viewers.[4] He later returned to duet with Mick Jagger on “Miss You” and in addition for Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”. When some followers continued to throw bottles at Timberlake, the gang was harangued by a visibly offended Keith Richards.

Rush was the final band to be added to the lineup. In keeping with drummer Neil Peart, “Once we have been first requested to play Molson Canadian Rocks For Toronto, it appeared unattainable to say sure. We had been off the street for 8 months, our gear was within the warehouse, most of our crew was out on different excursions, and even we have been far and wide – Geddy together with his household in France, Alex working within the studio mixing our Rio de Janeiro present, and me on my motorbike within the California mountains. Nonetheless, once we considered the whole lot Toronto meant to our lives, to our work and play, our houses and households and associates, it appeared unattainable to say no!” [5]

A documentary DVD entitled Toronto Rocks was launched in 2004, displaying highlights of the occasion.

See additionally

  • Listing of historic rock festivals
  • Hong Kong Harbour Fest, the same occasion held in Hong Kong to revive the financial system after SARS.

  • CBC Protection
  • Toronto Rocks at IMDb

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