Billboard Hot 100 Fest
Billboard Bits: SARS Benefit, Amos, MLB All-Star Game
News on SARS Benefit, Amos, MLB All-Star GameThe July 30 Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto Concert, headlined by the Rolling Stones, will see tickets capped at 500,000. The show, designed to help the city's sagging tourism and hospitality sectors after the stigma from SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), will also be an exercise in patience.
According to Toronto police chief Julian Fantino, gates for the concert will open at 8 a.m., with the show beginning at 2 p.m. It is also anticipated that the site will not be completely empty until 5 a.m. the following day. A police force of 1,200 from four cities will patrol the concert site by land and also by air.
To be held at Downsview Park, the concert also features AC/DC, Rush, Flaming Lips, Justin Timberlake, Isley Brothers, the Guess Who and Kathleen Edwards, among others. SARS has been responsible for 40 deaths in the greater Toronto area.
-- Jason MacNeil, Toronto
Tori Amos has selected a winner in her Taxivision video contest, where fans submitted clips for her single "Taxi Ride." Susan Hebert's winning entry cuts between various passengers in the back seat of a cab, giving the viewer glimpses into their lives at that moment. Images range from a trio of laughing women to a pair of grouchy businessmen, to a distraught woman who eventually rips apart the roses she's carrying and storms out of the cab.
"In the end I felt that on every level this one delivered," Amos says in a statement announcing the winner and two runners up. "I've had the people in my life giving me their input on which video should win, people who make videos for a living, people who represent all sides of the spectrum... As for the top three, I think all of them affected everyone on my side of things in different ways." Hebert's video can be seen on Amos' official Web site for the next month.
As previously reported, Amos will kick off the Lottapianos tour July 26 in Redmond, Wash., with Ben Folds opening. She's touring in support of her Epic debut, "Scarlet's Walk," which in November debuted at No. 7 on The Billboard 200.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks and his son Wayne Baker Brooks will be playing in the big leagues tonight (July 15). The blues trio is due to perform prior to the start of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at the U.S. Cellular Park in Chicago.
Also before the contest gets underway, Vanessa Carlton will be on hand to deliver the National Anthem, while Michael Buble will perform the Canadian national anthem. And come seventh-inning stretch time, this year's festivities won't hear singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," but "God Bless America" by Amy Grant.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.