Here Are All the Live Streams & Virtual Concerts to Watch During Coronavirus Crisis (Updating)
Here Are All the Major Music Events Canceled Due to Coronavirus (Updating)
A State-by-State Resource Guide for Music Professionals Who Need Help During Coronavirus Crisis (Updating)
Get Billboard Delivered At Home
Canada's Top Venues Draw Drake, Elton John, Taylor Swift and More
6. BUDWEISER GARDENS
Concert Capacity: 10,294
Top-Grossing Acts: Twain, Rod Stewart, Tim McGraw/Faith Hill
After presenting the 2016 Canadian Country Music Association Awards, in March Budweiser Gardens hosted the Junos for the first time in the awards show’s 48-year history. GM Brian Ohl cites two country acts as his favorite concerts of the past year: Keith Urban has played the building eight times in its short seven-year history -- “more than any other artist,” says Ohl -- and of McGraw and Hill he declares, “Oh, my God, what a great show.” This is the Gardens’ first year with energy-conserving LED lights inside and out, as well as entryway metal detectors. Home to the London Knights of the teen-level Ontario Hockey League, the venue presents one game per season for which public transportation to and from the event is free. With a sponsor, Ohl would love to extend that green initiative to concerts.
7. CENTRE VIDÉOTRON
Concert Capacity: 20,000
Top-Grossing Acts: McCartney, John, Timberlake, Twain
In Quebec City, French-speaking artists draw huge crowds; rock singer Éric Lapointe sold 10,000 tickets on New Year’s Eve at the Centre Vidéotron. But the locals still come out in droves for English-speaking legends like McCartney, who launched his Freshen Up world tour there. “His show on Sept. 17 was record-breaking for us for revenue,” says COO Martin Tremblay. The three-year-old venue is recognized for its sound quality, he says: “We implemented all the things that we had to” in constructing the venue to “the highest standard.”
8. BELL MTS PLACE
Concert Capacity: 17,000
Top-Grossing Acts: McCartney, Timberlake, Twain, Keith Urban
Few would view strengthening building security as an opportunity for fun fan engagement. But when Bell MTS Place acquired three bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois dogs, the arena staged a contest to name them. Ryp, Grace Too and Daisy were bred and trained specifically for the venue. When it comes to human stars, Bell MTS Place welcomed McCartney in September. Senior vp venues and entertainment Kevin Donnelly notes that the date was confirmed only two months in advance -- sufficient time for a sellout, but still unusual for a booking of this caliber. McCartney “played stadium shows [in Winnipeg] twice in [the] past,” says Donnelly. “He opened the new Investors Group Field in 2013 but hadn’t played an indoor engagement ever” in the city. Donnelly adds that Bell MTS Place has fully transitioned to digital ticketing, which “has eliminated a huge chunk of fraudulent activity.”
9. CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
Concert Capacity: 16,140 (in the round)
Top-Grossing Acts: John, Timberlake, Twain, Urban, André Rieu
“We’re being recognized for our gross ticket sales, but it’s not just because we were the lucky recipients of good touring cycles over the year,” says Canadian Tire Centre vp/executive director Tom Conroy. “My team has an average of more than 15 years of experience in the venue, [from] the front-of-house team to the back-of-house team, and has been instrumental in our success.” The venue, which opened in 1996, has made ongoing upgrades, including new gathering spaces like the Hard Rock Lounge, which overlooks the arena.
10. BUDWEISER STAGE
Concert Capacity: 16,000
Top-Grossing Acts: Urban, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney
Toronto’s iconic summer amphitheater on Lake Ontario, with views of the city skyline, is now 25 years old. Last season the shed set a venue record with 52 events, including a run of concerts by country superstars Urban, Aldean, Chesney and more. GM Adrian Walker cites Jack White’s concert as the year’s most unique event because of the artist’s no-cellphone policy. It was “definitely something that many younger concertgoers likely hadn’t experienced,” he says. Live Nation, which owns Budweiser Stage, has focused on the fan experience, offering Budweiser Brewery Fresh draft beer, brewed the day of each event; free Wi-Fi; and a state-of-the-art audio system designed to improve sound on the lawn at the rear of the amphitheater.
This article originally appeared in the April 27 issue of Billboard.