The British rock legends will play a huge free gig in Havana on March 25th, wrapping up their current Ole tour of Latin America.
The Rolling Stones are set to become the first British band to play an open air concert in Cuba after it was announced that they’ll be hosting a free gig during Easter week at the end of March.
The news was confirmed on Tuesday (March 1st) in the communist country’s official newspaper Granma, after a Cuban TV station’s Facebook page posted it last Friday. The rock legends will be playing at Ciudad Deportiva, a sports complex in the capital city of Havana, on March 25th.
The Rolling Stones before a stadium gig in Australia, 2014
The gig has been rumoured as a possibility ever since Mick Jagger visited the island, which has extremely rarely been opened up to Western entertainers as a venue since the revolution in 1959. As well as visiting nightclubs on the island, Jagger was believed to have been scouting potential gig venues.
“We have performed in many special places during our long career but this show in Havana is going to be a landmark event for us, and, we hope, for all our friends in Cuba too,” the Stones said in a statement following the news.
The Stones are currently nearing the end of their South American Olé tour, which ends in Mexico City on March 17th. The landmark Cuban gig will be added to the end of the existing tour schedule, which will come just four days after Barack Obama becomes the first serving US president to visit the country since 1928.
It will be the first free concert thrown by the band since the fateful Altamont festival in 1969, in which four deaths were reported amid considerable violence and crime, in an event which many rock historians have looked back on as representing the symbolic death of the sixties.
Back in 2001, Welsh rock act Manic Street Preachers became the first Western band to play in Cuba – though that concert was indoors, at the Karl Marx Theatre. The group had also met then-leader Fidel Castro beforehand, who had asked them about their music “it cannot be louder than war, can it?”
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