Toronto SARS Benefit To Draw 430,000

Although 500,000 people were expected, organizers say the audience will likely be closer to 430,000.

More details have been released regarding the July 30 Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert, featuring the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, Justin Timberlake and others. Although 500,000 people were expected, organizers say the audience will likely be closer to 430,000.

The show will be split into an afternoon and evening portion, with the first segment beginning at 1:30 p.m. Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd will open both halves. Sets for each act will vary from 15 minutes to over an hour.

Sets will be seamless, as the stage will rotate to allow for the next band to set up. The running order of the afternoon portion includes, in order, Sam Roberts, Kathleen Edwards, La Chicane, Tea Party, the Flaming Lips, Sass Jordan with Jeff Healey, the Isley Brothers and Blue Rodeo. The evening segment begins at 5:45 and will open with Timberlake, followed by the Guess Who, Rush, AC/DC and the Stones to close.

The Stones will arrive two nights before direct from a show in Prague. The Toronto gig was designed to help the city's sagging tourism and hospitality sectors after the stigma from SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which has been responsible for 40 deaths in the area.

In other news, the city of Calgary, Alberta, has confirmed plans to simulcast the concert at the Calgary Saddledome. The idea comes from not only supporting the effect SARS has had on Toronto but to show support for Canadian beef producers coping with closed American borders due to a case of mad cow disease earlier this year.

Tickets for the simulcast will be free. Although the venue holds only 22,000, between 35,000 to 50,000 tickets will be printed as organizers believe everyone attending won't be inclined to stay for the entire show.