The mere mention of Sir Paul McCartney sent music fans into a frenzy yesterday, when promoters officially announced the living legend would be sending all his loving to Halifax, the only Canadian stop on his summer tour.
“We boldly announced that our KISS show would be the largest event ever held on the Halifax Common,” Harold MacKay, president of Power Promotional Events, told a packed press conference at the World Trade and Convention Centre. “I’m here today to tell you that we were a little bit premature.”
Although the outdoor KISS concert July 18 is reason to rock, MacKay called the McCartney concert, which will take place a week earlier, “the largest and most exciting concert” ever to hit Halifax. He’ll bring almost as many pyrotechnics to the Common stage as Gene Simmons, MacKay said.
MacKay hopes 60,000 people will fill the Commons for the July 11 show featuring the former Beatle, named “the greatest rock and roll artist of all time” by Rolling Stone magazine.
“This show, together with the KISS show, and the Tall Ships Festival beginning the same week is going to make Halifax the place to be,” he said.
Rumours about the British icon leaning toward Halifax have been circulating for a while, but Metro Halifax first reported last week the concert this summer was pretty much set.
Promoters confirmed the provincial government is pitching in $300,000 to put on the show, while HRM is providing $150,000. But officials wouldn’t say how much they’re paying Sir Paul, only the price tag for facilities is more than $2 million.
Scott Ferguson of Trade Centre Ltd. said the show should “bring in the $12 to $15 million range in direct spending,” adding it will benefit “beyond the dollars and cents.”
McCartney said on his website he and his band “are looking forward to rocking in Halifax.”