Madonna’s Free Pass for QuebecConcert Site Draws Controversy

Officials for Quebec City’s historic
Plains of Abraham has relaxed its
rule about for-profit concerts on
the park grounds and made an
exception for Madonna **.
Live Nation Entertainment will
present her concert September 1,
and according to the Globe and
Mail [ LINK], the National
Battlefields Commission is giving
the promoter use of the grounds
for free. Some 70,000 tickets have
already been sold.
The site of the famous battle of
September 13, 1759 — in which
British soldiers defeated the
French — is situated in The
Battlefields Park. It was declared
the first historic site in Canada in
The park is used for numerous
free events during the Quebec
Winter Carnival, La Fête nationale
du Québec, and Quebec City
Summer Festival. Since 2008,
concerts have also been staged
there — Sir Paul McCartney, Sir
Elton John, Metallica, Van Halen
and Celine Dion — but none have
charged a direct admission fee
for the Plains of Abraham.
Local promoter Sylvain Parent-
Bedard told the Canadian Press
that charging admission means
that capacity will be capped and
people won’t be crammed in like
“sardines” as they have been in
the past. McCartney and Dion’s
freebies drew more than 200,000
people each.
“(Madonna) really wants to have a
big dance party. It’s a big party
for fans — she wanted a big party
for fans,” he said.
National Battlefields Commission
spokesperson Joanne Laurin told
the wire service ‘Generally, we
don’t accept any commercial
activity, but in this case it’s really
exceptional. But people shouldn’t
presume anything regarding
future requests we might get.”
She told the Globe and Mail
newspaper, “We accepted it
because we presume there will
be major economic benefits for
Quebec City.”
André Juneau, who ran the
Commission for 14 years until
2009, disagrees with his
successor’s decision. “It isn’t
right,” he told the Globe. “I would
never have agreed to do it for
free. You can make an exception
for one case, but then they should
have to pay. Otherwise, you open
the door to anyone who wants to
organize something commercial
on the Plains.
“If we had ever received a
request like this, we would have
taken advantage of it so there
were benefits for the park. We
don’t want commercial activities.
… We could have a McDonald’s
any time, we’d just have to ask
A spokesperson for the Festival
d’été de Québec, a non-profit that
brought Elton John, Sting and
others to the Plains, also told the
newspaper she was surprised
that Madonna is charging for
tickets and that the promoters
are not getting charged for the
use of the park as a venue.
“They always told us the Plains
were reserved for non-profit
organizations or exceptional
events like the 400th anniversary
[of Quebec City],” Luci Tremblay
said. “During the Festival d’été,
concerts on the Plains are
accessible with a festival pass that
also includes a range of other
activities; there is no charge for
each show.”
The Commission’s Laurin said the
promoters will pay for security at
the park and the clean up.
Tickets for the concert are
presently on sale, for $55 to $250,
plus service charges.
Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s
publicist, told Billboard neither
she nor Madonna would
comment. Emails to executives at
Live Nation Canada did not
receive replies.


join the discussion of this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s